For a long time, when interviewing for jobs that I was supposed to want, I prayed that I wouldn’t be asked, “Why do you want to work here?” Because often I didn’t have a clue why I wanted the job. It often wasn’t my passion.
Now I find myself answering this question nearly every day – not because I’m on the job market (I’m not), but because this is the (often unspoken) question in any fundraising meeting.
“Tell me a little more about yourself,” says the potentially interested donor. Translation: “Tell me why you’ve decided to devote your life to this cause. Tell my why you’re passionate about it, why you believe in the mission, and why you’ve decided to walk this path when so many others with your capabilities are doing something completely different?”
Put another way, “tell me about the commitment YOU’VE made, before we talk about the commitment I might make.”
Every potential donor should ask this question, and every time you or anyone in your organization talks to a potential donor, you need to find a way to tell this story (briefly).
By skipping this, you miss your greatest chance at authentic, personal connection. You miss the chance to talk about your own passion in a personal and genuine way.
Too often, people think their job in a fundraising meeting is to do a dog and pony show about why the organization they work for is so great. Find the comfort to talk about yourself first, with humility, to tell your own story.