By John Paul de Silva – originally published on the Social Focus Consulting blog.
|Vanity A La Mode, in front of podium, disrupting philanthropy in all the right ways
In my previous article on AFP Congress 2018, we explored how charities can reverse declining revenues by delighting donors, more specifically, by personalizing communications, running experiential events, and designing frictionless webpages. Ultimately, it’s people that drive and nurture such decisions, but how do we facilitate this kind of innovation and disruption? We do it through transformational leadership which requires introspection followed by extrospection.
|Kishshana Palmer, presenting on transformational leadership and emotional intelligence
In Kishshana Palmer‘s session, she focused on emotional intelligence (EI) and its ability to help us motivate, inspire, boost, and push others, in turn, helping us become transformational leaders. According to Ms. Palmer, EI can be broken down into four domains or competencies: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management. Although the framework is centred around emotions, I believe it’s a good general framework for all contributing aspects of transformational fundraising leadership. Read more »
By Mo Waja
With AFP Congress arriving in a short 2 months, burgeoning and tenured thought leaders alike are preparing themselves and their talks to bring new, ambitious, and exciting ideas to the world of fundraising. But ‘thought leadership’ as a marketing activity isn’t something done just once a year or even once a month. It is not exclusive to large scale speaking events or even to a single guest blog post. Thought leadership as an activity or, more accurately, as a result is something that individuals and organizations commit to as a regular piece of their marketing mix.
Now, the idea of thought leadership is not new. In fact, ‘thought leadership’ as a marketing strategy has been in vogue for a number of years now. The challenge is that many individuals and organizations, particularly smaller organizations, can find the concept of taking on thought leadership daunting, particularly in the face of many larger organizations or more tenured leaders out there leveraging their much more developed content machines to pump out a near-continuous stream of articles, interviews, blogs, podcasts, and talks.
The first step is to recognize that ‘thought leadership’ or becoming a ‘thought leader’ is not a strategy. It’s not even a tactic. It is the result of consistent, quality content that is useful to your audience. To become a thought leader and create thought leadership content is to become an authority on a certain subject, within a certain field. Just as not everyone who picks up an instrument is a musician, not everyone who puts fingers to keyboard (feet to stage, voice to podcast, etc.) is a thought leader.
Thought leadership is something that must be established, not simply done. While one talk, interview, or piece of writing might put you on the map – it’s the cumulative work, experience, and expertise that brought you there that builds your foundation as a thought leader. For an organization seeking to become a thought leader in their industry, that becomes the collective work, experience, and expertise of all of your contributors. Read more »
The woman I am today has a lot to do with the women I’ve met throughout my life. I come from a single-mother home. I have tons of outspoken, brave, hilarious aunties. I went to a university that had a student body of largely women. I work in a sector that is largely made up of women. I am an intersectional feminist. I love being surrounded by inspiring women and have been so lucky in my short career to be mentored by some of the most incredible women out there.
I’d like to take some time to recognize how they’ve shaped me.
When I began my first professional fundraising job, I had a boss who I immediately bonded with. A single mother. A feminist. An amazing and creative fundraiser. She encouraged my ideas and pushed me to dream. Her leadership transformed me into a confident fundraiser. It is because of her encouragement that I no longer believe there is a ceiling to what I can accomplish in my career. She became one of my best friends and continues to help shape and guide both who I am as a person and who I am striving to be professionally.
My professional association (Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter) has a great mentorship program (check if your work has one and, if so, take advantage of it). When I joined, I was matched with an incredible woman who has been in the sector for over 30 years. She is a phenomenal writer and direct mail genius. Her depth of knowledge is never-ending and she is a shining example of a woman who has paved her own way, runs a successful business, and just generally kills it. When I was getting run down and stuck in a job I no longer loved, she helped me revise my resume and search for jobs – she actually found me the job I am currently in (and loving!). She taught me how to sell not just a cause, but myself. She taught me style and grace in dealing with difficult people and how to present myself for success in all things.
I am also constantly being led by women who have no idea that I am their protégé. I follow as many female leaders in my sector as I can on social media, attend as many workshops as possible, and take in as many drops of their wisdom as I can. The non-profit sector certainly has a long way to go when it comes to getting women into positions of power and adopting a more inclusive vision for our work. But at the same time, there is so much knowledge we can glean from those who have paved the way for us. I am inspired by the women in this sector who have fought for their dreams and for the betterment of the world.
Calling all young women:
Get a mentor. Get as many mentors as you can. Learn as much as you can. And then let’s get to work.
Calling all women who are established in their sector:
Be a mentor. Pull up the women who are behind you. Lend your wisdom and your experience. Remember that we are your legacy. And, above all: if you have privilege, use it! Help open doors for other women and do your part to bring those opportunities forward. The women around you may be facing more challenges than you, and it’s your responsibility to lift-up women of colour, trans women, and other marginalized groups. Remember – we’ve only truly reached equality if we all get there together.
Who has helped shape who you are at home and at work? Take some time today to email, call, or text them and let them know how impactful they’ve been for you.
The post was originally published on the Canadian Women’s Foundation blog.
About the Author
Deanna Codner is a creative and passionate fundraising professional. She is energized when bringing donors, new and old, alongside the non-profit sector’s mission to solve our society’s greatest systemic issues and prioritizes inclusion in her day-to-day work. In her spare time, you can find Deanna drinking Caesars at the cottage,or dancing around to musicals in her apartment.