Fundraisers might as well carry around a fire extinguisher all day. There often is no such thing as “winning the day.” It’s more about survival. After putting out small fires at rapid pace during work, home life — with its own pressures and obligations — seldom offers a reprieve. Fatigue sets in as the cycle continues over and over.
Diane Lloyd, executive coach at Inspired Results Group, offered means of breaking that cycle during her session, “Thriving as a Fundraising Professional in Work and in Life,” at an Association of Fundraising Professionals’ international fundraising conference in New Orleans, La. The presentation focused on strategies to succeed on the job while reducing stress. Suggestions included:
- Evaluate your mindset. Lloyd compared what she described as a “growth mindset” with a “fixed mindset.” A growth mindset takes the approach that the individual can learn anything he or she wants, perseveres when frustrated, and seeks out challenges. A fixed mindset recognizes limits in skills and in meeting challenges;
- Know thyself. Learn and understand where your strengths are and passions lie. Seek out feedback in order to identify areas of improvement that will make the most difference;
- Plan strategically. This might come naturally when talking about fundraising goals, but what matters to you as an individual and what differences do you want to make? Think about what you want to be celebrating a year from now;
- Move to action. What do you need more of in your life? What do you need to reduce? Think about things that will make the biggest difference, maintain focus, and seek out help;
- Take care of yourself. Identify where you can find support whether that be at home, in work, or within professional groups.