Propelled by Mission

on in Fundraising

Board members who buttonhole. A rare breed, valued to the nth degree.

It’s not that these folks are born salespeople, although they’re often eloquent persuaders.

It’s also not necessarily that they have extensive networks of friends with disposable income, although some connections are certainly useful.

It’s that they care – and understand, with a burning passion, how much their actions can affect what they care about.

 They’re driven by an internally-motivated sense of how much this matters.

b2ap3_thumbnail_mountain_climbing.jpgIn an October 27th New York Times article on the recent Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards gala, the group’s board chair was credited, along with a small group of committed donors, with transforming the group’s annual event over the past eight years from a backyard barbecue to a must-attend Hollywood gala that raised $1.1 million last week, a record for the group.

Kevin Brockman, executive vice president for global communications at the Disney-ABC Television Group and chairman of the GLSEN Board, describes himself as relentless on the group’s behalf: “I’ve asked and asked and asked for money, to the degree that people are tired of hearing from me,” he described.

But why does he work so tirelessly on the group’s behalf? As quoted by The Times, Brockman explained:

Because it’s for the kids, I have no shame.

Motivated by mission. There’s an old saying, first articulated in some early writing on fundraising way back in the mid 1970’s: “Kick yourself aside and let your mission walk in the door.” It emboldens, it makes the case larger than the self, and it adds urgency.

Because the kids – the crying need – can’t wait.

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