Fundraising Can Get Pretty Emotional

Managers know that if there isn’t staff buy-in, you might succeed but not get to the level to which and initiative can climb. That includes fundraising and revenue generation. It comes down to two words: Emotional Intelligence (EI).

The concept was researched by professors Peter Salovey at Yale University and John Mayer at the University of New Hampshire. It’s defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

The professors identified a 16-step developmental model of EI. Five of those elements were discussed during a session at the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising conference in National Harbor, Md. The session was titled “Emotional Intelligence: Let’s Have The Unspoken Conversation About How employees Can Make Or Break your Program” and was presented by Cindy Anderson of Anderson Consulting and Merrie Beth Nauman of the Ocean Conservancy.

Those areas were: Self-Awareness, Self-Control, Self-Esteem, Empathy and Social Skill. According to Anderson and Nauman, EI matters because it:

  • Improves the quality of your own life;
  • Decreases stress;
  • Advances your career;
  • Improves your culture;
  • Decreases drama, gossip;
  • Decreases destructive conflict;
  • Mitigates the impact of difficult people;
  • Increases resiliency, flexibility;
  • Drives holistic decision-making; and,
  • Elevates efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.

    When it comes to self-control, it involves triggers, centering techniques and planning and practice. Self-Esteem I earned by you for you, and not given by someone else. It is built on a foundation of purpose, self-responsibility and self-acceptance. When it comes to empathy, you don’t need to agree. You only need to understand. Social skill involves relationship Investment, abundance mentality and an attitude of inquiry.