The Fundraising Expert vs The Motivated Mom

Thursday, March 24, 2016
The Fundraising Expert vs The Motivated Mom

Recently, I attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference in Boston, MA. It was a great conference, with lots of great content.  It was exactly what I needed! It reminded me of the importance of my role as a fundraiser. After a few of the sessions, I thought about the importance of my role as a mom. Then, it hit me! Being a fundraiser has a lot of similarities of being a mom.

There were three major contributors that influenced my feelings.  One was a comment made by one of the facilitators. He said, “The future of philanthropy comes from engaging donors as children, so it becomes part of the fabric of their learning.”  Before I knew it, I said “Wow!” out loud. Truly, I gained so many perspectives from this one statement. As a fundraiser, we are always helping our donors learn more about why, what, and how we make life better for those we serve. As a mom,  I began to think about my responsibility to prepare my son for his future by engaging in his education, so the love for learning becomes part of his fabric. I thought to myself, am I teaching my son the importance of philanthropy? Because the future of philanthropy will rest with him and his generation real soon. (you may want to add a one or two more sentences to elaborate on this.)

The second contributor that influenced my feelings was a picture that a facilitator shared during her presentation. It is the picture that is use in this blog. It reads, “I’m here to help good take over the world”.


This statement brought me to tears. Then suddenly, I remembered the why! Why I do what I do and why what I do is so important. I began to cry. At that moment my mind collided with my heart. More than ever I felt an urgency to do more….to help GOOD take over the world. As a mom, I want my son, Chance, to live in a world that is diverse, inclusive, equal, fair, good and gives him the best CHANCE to live out his true potential. Not a world filled with injustice, inequality, and hatred. It’s imperative that we help good take over the world.  Not only for us but for the sake of our children. How can we not? How can we not?

The last contributor was Claire Wilkinson. This was the last sessions that I attended. Claire’s father, Jay Wilkinson presented. It was the most personal workshop that I attended during the conference. Don’t get me wrong, he had very good content relating to the technology trends that is shaping a new reality for nonprofits. However, he shared many sweet and personal videos of children which helped support his presentation points.  The videos were very refreshing. One of the videos was Claire during her high-school years.  She feel into depression after some very mean people used words to break her spirit. Clair is fine now and the session ended with an amazing video of her living her dreams.  She shares her childhood experiences while encouraging others to be ok with their journey, and not to give up. As a fundraiser, it’s tough to get a “No” when seeking funding. However, it is important to know that the “No” is not about you. A “No” doesn’t mean that we have to stop being a fundraiser.  

As a mom, it reminded me of how very important it is for us to:

1) not expect our children to be perfect.

2) to help them overcome the desire to feel like they need to be perfect.   

We have to help them to keep going when they are told you didn’t make the team; you didn’t get the part; or when they are simply told “No”. That way, the know how to deal with “No” as they continue to grow.

To my Motivated Moms, I hope this was helpful to you. I feel so renewed since attending the conference. I can hardly hold back the tears while writing this blog. One of the most invigorating feelings is to know WHY you were born. If you don’t know WHY, please allow me to motivate you to make that discovery.


Latoyia Dennis

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