“It is a truth universally acknowledged…”
Just like the timeless characters of a Jane Austen novel, fundraisers come with many different personalities. Which one are you?
The “sensibility” from Sense and Sensibility, the younger Dashwood sister often lets her emotions dictate her decisions. She gets majorly excited about an idea, latches on hard, and becomes hopelessly devoted to it.
The downside of this devotion is that Marianne-types often ignore objections or words of caution from others until it’s too late. On the positive, they’re passionate for the cause, and their enthusiasm is infectious.
If you’re like Marianne: Pay attention to your colleagues’ ideas and suggestions. They’re just trying to help. Keep up the enthusiasm. And get some of your pessimistic pragmatic colleagues to collaborate with you on a fundraising plan.
The “sense” in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor is prudent and methodical. She guards her heart carefully. It keeps her out of trouble for the most part, but it also holds her back from reaching her dreams.
As a fundraiser, this type often favors traditional, tried-and-true practices over new ideas – often at the expense of growth.
If you’re Elinor: Don’t be afraid to try something new! Why not experiment with something that’s always intrigued you, like a peer-to-peer campaign?
Elizabeth is everyone’s favorite heroine. If you’re like Lizzy, you’re smart, brave, passionate, sensible, and maybe a little proud, though you don’t realize it.
Fundraisers in this position often feel like they’re the ones holding everything together, until they realize it’s just too big for them. Sometimes, your confidence can be your biggest enemy.
For all you Lizzy’s out there: Use that wit and wisdom to your advantage and create some killer donor communications. Sign up for our free virtual conference on storytelling.
First impressions can be tough, as Darcy learned the hard way. A little proud (and a little prejudiced), his big heart won out in the end. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, this gentleman kept silent about his good works, though he was responsible for saving the lives of others.
In the nonprofit world, this means you’re the type who may shy away from marketing and doesn’t want to toot your own horn. The downside is that when people don’t know you, they can’t love you, either.
Advice for Mr. Darcy types: Don’t hide your light under a basket. Your nonprofit does great work, and others should know about it. Check out our new eGuide, Storytelling for Nonprofits.
Happy-go-lucky and good-natured, the ever-agreeable Mr. Bingley is so smiley and so eager to please that he’ll let himself be dragged along by those whose good opinion he desires, rather than standing up for what he knows in his heart.
For the fundraiser, this means that you may have a little trouble getting what you need out of your board. You think you’re happy to just get along, but you really wish you could steer them a little to a better direction.
If you’re like Mr. Bingley: It’s difficult, but important, to defend your ideas and opinions when challenged by a room of board members! Grab a copy of our board guide.