I was born and raised the middle of three children, in a house that was smack dab in the middle of my neighborhood, in a town close to the geographic center of our state. I was a middle of the road second baseman playing in the middle of the infield position throughout my short-lived baseball career. I consider myself to be somewhat of a political moderate, preferring to look for middle ground on issues. I graduated from Wake Forest University - the center of the universe of course - with a GPA somewhere in the middle of my class. OK, maybe it was the lower middle.
I guess you could say I am a person who likes being in the middle of things.
Whether as a professional or a volunteer, fundraising presents the opportunity to have a profound impact on an organization’s mission, vision, and strategic direction. You are the person in the middle. You are a vital link between the worthy causes and significant institutions serving humanity and the dreams and aspirations of donors who desire to make a difference. You form a unique partnership with your nonprofit’s board of directors, the chief executive, and dedicated volunteers. You also become the ally and confidante of the professor, symphony conductor, scientist, physician, curator, child care worker, substance abuse counselor, or hospice worker whose work depends on the resources you help provide. I find great satisfaction in this middle ground. I work to constantly balance the great privilege of being in that space and the great responsibility that I feel to those who count on me for my work.
Being in the middle keeps my life interesting. Maybe that's why I enjoy the profession of fundraising so much. Throughout my 28-year career I have had the honor of meeting and learning from leaders and laborers who come together to help fulfill the missions of great organizations. I have had the privilege of sharing stories of the life changing impact of their work with the donors; donors whose contributions sustain and grow that impact.
If you are a nonprofit fundraiser, I encourage you to celebrate the joy of this profession every day. If you are a volunteer fundraiser, thank you for your service. If you are someone looking to make a difference in your community, join us here in the middle. Our nonprofits need people who are willing to be the connectors between the causes we all care about and those who can help them.