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I’m obsessed, you’re obsessed, we’re all obsessed.

on Jul 15, 2015

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The Definition of Obsession

Fundraising has never stopped being a challenge for me. Years ago, for a short time, I thought I was a pretty good fundraiser. So much so I even started this blog! Yikes. I’ve learned since then that ability and confidence in your ability are two very distinct things, and they don’t grow in equal measure. The latter that usually jumps out to an early lead, then quickly runs out of steam. The volume of posts here have declined because of this. I’ll sit down to write a new post, then question if I’m really qualified to do so. Those posts are rarely published.

Early on as a student, intern then in my first real job I had amazing opportunities to learn, apply, share what I learned, and repeat. I soaked up as much as I could and a big boost of confidence came along with that. It may be because in our earlier years we haven’t yet been pushed to the limits of our ability yet.

The more I learn the more aware I am of what I don’t know, or what I have yet to learn. Stepping back and asking why is an essential part of your professional development, and one answer inevitably raises more questions. For the first couple years, most questions are answered with blogs, webinars, books or conferences. After a few years you’ll have to dig a little deeper, but the answers are out there if you want to find them.

Keep asking questions for four, five or more years and the answers to your questions will feel near-impossible to find. Not because they are especially advanced or indicative of an above-average IQ, but because they are highly specific to the roadblocks you’re facing at the time. The audience for those answers is too small to justify a conference session, webinar, or book!

If you’ve lasted this long in fundraising and you’re still asking tough questions – you’re certifiably obsessed. Not just obsessed with raising more money for your cause, but obsessed with doing it at really, really well.

I’m obsessed. I search out new ideas, new thinkers and do-ers. Just as importantly, I’m always on the lookout for people that are obsessed with doing the basics really really well. And there’s one fundamental thing that we can all do better: show our donors some love.

Where am I going with all this? Well some good friends and I are trying to unpack what exactly it means to love your donors with an event called the #DonorLove Rendezvous. It’s a day of idea-sharing and for fundraisers, designed for finding and sharing practical specific solutions to the challenges you’re facing each day. Here are the details:

The #DonorLove Rendezvous
Wednesday May 11, 2016
9:00 am  – 4:30 pm
Artscape Wychwood Barns
601 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G 4C7
Toronto, ON
$99 – limited time super early bird pricing
Learn more and register: donorlove.ca

The #DonorLove team is as obsessed with practicality, idea-sharing, and creativity as I am. They are an inspiring bunch, and I am proud to have been invited to help out. So if you’re looking for something new and different in 2016, give this one a try.

This post was by Brock Warner. Currently in Toronto, Brock works to foster and place value upon the act of philanthropy, no matter the size of gift. As a professional, he values the ‘how’ as much as the ‘how much’ and desire to see the fruits of my labour and energy be a catalyst for positive change. Connect with Brock on Twitter at @BrockWarner.

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