We’re in the final stretch of the QTR so get your money in for all of the political causes you believe in so that we can have the highest tally on September 30th. As much as I appreciate support on October 1st, it’s a little painful that it can’t count for the 3rd QTR. The flip side is that that contribution starts off the 4th QTR count. Fundraising never ends!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
- Much thanks to Tanya Tarr for featuring me in her negotiation article about resilience. If you’re getting started in fundraising, you can read more about Tanya’s experience about staying in the saddle even after getting several no’s and how as she continued forward, her asks got bigger and the results got better! I’ve always felt that creating your own luck is essential to getting to your goals and as a result, you learn how to be resilient.
- Building teams to execute a project can be challenging and when you’re working in a small organization, there aren’t that many opportunities to mix up the staff to spur creativity. You do have the ability to change up the environment and to motivate your team through incentives to reward them for a job well done. Here are ways that can help you build a better team or at the very least, encourage your team members to feel that the work really is a team effort. I’ve talked about how I’ve taken my team to a weekly staff lunch of their choice. It’s also important to acknowledge each team member for their accomplishments in a public way and I also show my gratitude by purchasing gift cards or something from the road when I’m traveling to thank them. As much as I like being in the office to get work done, it’s important to not always have a static setting when you’re trying to innovate. So step away from a familiar setting to get new ideas flowing.
- I mentor quite a few women who are in the beginning stages of their careers and provide career advice for women who maybe hitting their stride in their chosen profession and are likely maybe a decade younger then me. Having these conversations are fulfilling because I hope that by sharing my experiences, I’m helping them navigate their own career path. The benefit for me is that their questions also highlights for me the current trends affecting professionals of their experience and age. When you think about establishing a relationship with a mentor, there will be expectations from both sides so setting boundaries is important and recognizing what you want out of the relationship.
- In such a politically charged society, consumers are making choices by taking a stand with their wallets. We’ve seen the #grabyourwallet campaign and when companies align themselves by using their profits that indirectly affects their consumers’ values, customers fight back by withholding financial support of companies’ products. Should companies get involved directly with an administration’s policies? Apple CEO, Tim Cook seems to think so and as much as we can take a hard line about how a company operates, public opinion matters when it equates to the loss of a profit margin. I may not always agree with how companies are doing business so I will choose to go elsewhere to find services or products more aligned with my values and IMO, it’s OK to go back to a company once they’ve addressed those concerns. The marketplace changes and as customers we must learn how to use our dollars to influence those changes.
- I’m all about sharing a platform for women and women of color. My sisters in the tech industry (where I have some experience being that I have fundraised in that industry since the mid 1990s from venture capitalists for political campaigns and organizations) are fighting against the stereotypes of AAPI women who work in this field. Big props to Tina Lee, a dear friend who heads up a nonprofit to train moms how to code and to re-engage in the work force. AAPI women continue to make strides to be valued for our intelligence and technical ability and I’m looking forward to hearing more success stories of their progress.
- When I started in politics, I moved from field to fundraising and at the time, I didn’t know that many people of color who did fundraising. I also was working in a very specific area within the Democratic Party: moderate Democrats so an area that leaned more heavily into the business community and more Southern. Which meant that I spent a lot of time with Caucasian people, both elected officials and donors. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the AAPI community and it wasn’t until I started working with AAPI candidates and elected officials did I start to learn about the AAPI narrative. By then I was an established fundraiser and had already spent time training people with the philosophy that regardless of your ethnic background, your abilities transcends your race. You’re a good communications director, fundraiser, campaign manager and you also happen to be “fill in the blank”. Provide the training so that people from all backgrounds can have the technical skills to advance in their careers. Marry that with opportunity and hopefully you will have a pipeline that creates a diverse work force within the progressive movement. In that context, it irks me to no end when organizations talk about having people of color working in their organizations and they aren’t in leadership positions or they are relegated to only engaging with their constituency. I’m a good fundraiser and I have the cultural competency to talk with my natural constituency and that shouldn’t limit me to only talking to my constituency. I ain’t got time for tokenism and neither should you. Take a good hard look within and around you. We’re not perfect and making changes so that we don’t fall into that trap for show will make for a better relationship for all of us.
- I’ve been watching MSNBC for a while and although it’s not Wednesday, I’ve got #WCW vibes for Joy Reid. Most of the time when I’m perusing my twitter feed, I’m screaming “YAASSS!” when reading her comments. She was recently profiled in Vogue.com and it was cool to see that the article pointed out that with tv as her medium, she uses the opportunity to create a full package of herself.
Thanks for reading/sharing and hope to see you next week! Drop me a line if you want to have a particular subject matter shared.