I’m looking forward to teaching my fundraising session at the NLC’s training this weekend in DC. Believe it or not, fundraising can be a FUN experience! Talking from years of practice, I really do enjoy the research portion the best and when you’ve done the work, it pays off in the call sheets and on your tally board. I bet you that most candidates think that fundraising is the least fun component of all of the campaign activities. What do you think??
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
- When I read this article, it really struck me as the same kind of structure one uses to connect on a political level. Shared interests creates rapport and that leads to how people can solve problems together. I get a lot of calls from candidates and elected officials asking me how to connect with voters and my response is it has to be genuine and you have to have a common interest that you’re passionate about and willing to fight for everyday. That’s how voters connect with your active participation to help on an issue. How do you raise those concerns so that they’re addressed and discussed in a productive way. These tips can help your sales numbers but they will also help in creating a robust network.
- Here’s a funny gif on the glamorous life of being a campaign press secretary. Although I have never held the title myself, I have done my fair share of pitching stories and all I can remember is screaming to myself, “If it doesn’t get covered then it didn’t happen!”. I think I’ll stick to my call sheets.
- We’ve had posts about self doubt, imposter syndrome, self esteem and what it all boils down to is one’s mental capacity to believe in yourself. That ability manifests itself into what some people call charisma. One of the most important aspects of charisma is the ability to empathize with people. One of the reasons why I’m successful in fundraising is that I can see pressure points. My mom used to lament that I was never a master of the guitar and I’m fine with that because my ability to converse in a myriad of topics allows me to dig deeper with people in their interests when I really could care less. It’s not that I don’t care about the person, but even I can only dig deep into others’ interests when it’s not of interest to me. Remembering people’s storytelling and mental momentos really allows people to see that you were really listening.
- I was once an assistant so I know what it means to “manage up” and lawdy, was it interesting to see my associates do that to me, especially when they weren’t doing it very well. The last thing I want to do as a manager is to do your job for you so the more you know my pressure points, the better jobs we’ll all be doing. I’m a stickler for being on time and my definition of being on time is most other people’s definition of being 15 minutes early. It doesn’t stress me out and it gives me a positive feeling that as a team we’re going to fix an last minute problems that may arise. So when staffers come “late”, I get stressed out and as a result, I get cranky. My mood has shifted and if you catch me on a day that I might not have hit the gym then you better just go hide somewhere and come back when I’ve calmed down. Knowing how to create an environment where you can get the most positive results is a win win. Getting to know managers likes/dislikes can make a tremendous difference in gaining credibility and ultimately more responsibility given to you.
- Competing with your peers can be daunting. Am I were I’m supposed to be? She’s got a better title than me. How am I supposed to compare with someone who has their sh*z together?? Believe me, it can all be a Debbie Downer if you allow yourself to get caught into the current of self doubt. I also know what it feels like to be swept away and get emotionally tied to people because envy has reared its ugly head. It’s not pretty. It’s so much more fulfilling to feel the glory of the light when you appreciate someone else’s “shine”. My tribe of SHEros have taught me what it means to celebrate their accomplishments. They push me to DO better and to BE better. It’s awesome that they’ve been profiled in the NYT, that they exceeded their business development goals, and are rising to the occasion. When I talk about them, my male friends tell me that they sound amazing…because they are and hopefully some of that shine allows me to also push towards my own goals.
- Most people laugh at me when I tell them that I’m an introvert. They really don’t believe me! So I concede that maybe I fall in the middle of the spectrum between the two. Needless to say, I like to be alone but I also don’t mind speaking in public. Setting up an introvert for success in a public setting means allowing us/them to prepare. Giving enough notice so that introverts can properly prepare makes the situation less challenging. So when I’m preparing for a lecture or presentation, I visualize my material and it comes naturally to me. I can talk your ear off about fundraising, leadership, branding and it’s because I’m comfortable with the subject, I can do what I’m supposed to do…talk! I like to connect with the audience and figure out what exactly they’re trying to get out of the presentation. I can always improve my energy level but I recognize that I’m not a “yeller” when it comes to showing enthusiasm. I sound fake – my ability to convey my message in a conversational way is my best form of communication and being authentic is much more important than trying to be someone you’re not. Looking for other ways you can become a better public speaker? Hop to it!
Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you think in the comments!