Guest column – Attitude vital to fundraising

By Jeffrey Garrett

On any given day, dozens if not hundreds of seminars, workshops, tapes, books and lectures drill home the importance of a positive attitude.

Norman Vincent Peale became enormously popular because millions of people found the truth in his simple philosophy for successful living — the power of positive thinking.

Now, more than ever, this attitude seems threatened by the rash of recent publicity surrounding the level of charitable giving in our community.

And now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of those in the development profession to take a stand for a positive outlook despite temporary setbacks and conditions.

It is our duty as professional fundraisers to educate our communities that we are still the wealthiest and most charitable nation on earth.

It is our duty to maintain a positive attitude and to share it with others — our donors, our boards, our staff members and each other.

Let us be grateful for the work we do, the people whose lives are changed by that work, the donors who make that work possible, the board members who provide leadership and vision, and our coworkers who strive daily to be of service to the people whose lives we touch.

Let us also be grateful to live in communities with so many generous donors – the individuals, foundations and companies whose support helps us help others.

Nonprofits will continue to have the potential to not only survive, but also to flourish if we provide high-quality services, produce results, operate in a responsible manner and continue to develop new volunteer, collaborative and financial resources.

We also call on our communities to continue giving so that we can continue to help people in need.

Mother Teresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” Simply put, it takes dollars to meet the needs of our community.

Jeffrey Garrett is board president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Indiana Chapter and is development director for the League for the Blind & Disabled in Fort Wayne.

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