About a month ago I heard about an online movement and decided I wanted to be a part if it. It’s called Blog Action Day.
It is a day that brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part. 2012 is the sixth year of the movement and the theme this year is the Power of We.
The goal behind Blog Action Day is for the ‘blogging community to focus discussion and give their separate audiences the opportunities to take part in a global conversation, raise awareness or even funds for non-profits‘.
According to the Blog Action Day website, ‘the Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around he world.‘
An amazing group of people working to make a difference in the world that I’d like to talk about today is one that is very close to my heart. They are not a group that focus on one particular cause or issue; they are impacting many. Nor are they committed to only one geographical region or country; they are worldwide.
For the most part their energy, enthusiasm and expertise are making the world a better place. This group of people is close to my heart because it is also one that I have the privilege of being a part of.
We are fundraisers.
Fundraising professionals essentially work to mobilize resources (often money) to create positive change in the community (be it local, national or global).
We are passionate people. We are hopeful people. We see the world through rosy colored glasses – we have to. We are men and women, both old and young, that educate the public about the great work of non-profit organisations, encourage them to get involved and then help them to see that their contribution can make a difference. We are about inspiring generosity.
Fundraising professionals get paid (just like any other field one might choose to specialise in) but for some reason, there is a great deal of criticism outside the sector about what fundraisers are paid and whether this is right or not. This is putting unnecessary restraints on the sector’s progression and that of philanthropy on the whole.
The notion of being paid to help the world is seen as selfish and ungenerous. Apparently one cannot be altrusitic and make money at the same time. This is ridiculous; everyone has to earn a living. In any other industry or business around the world, you are paid according to the value you create and outcomes you produce. Yet, with charities, there is this imaginary limits on compensation – which will surely be affecting our ability to attract new talented thinkers in to this field.
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to hear Dan Pallotta speak at the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s conference on the Gold Coast. In addition to his liberating views on the cost of fundraising, he also discussed the absurd constraints society places on salaries of people who work for charities. People like fundraisers!
Have a look at this short interview with Dan as he explains his thoughts on this issue (and a few others) that our society, as a whole, need to think about:
As part of Blog Action Day 2012, I’d like to challenge all of us inside the non-profit sector to place higher value on ourselves and our work; and not be afraid of being compensated for our efforts. And to those outside the sector, I challenge you to think about the brief points I have made in this post and those you heard in the video and start to ask your chosen charities some new questions.
Together we need to change the way we look at the entire non-profit community, from the inside and out. It is only then that we will start to see real change in the world. That is the power of we, right there; it includes everyone on the planet – in the non-profit sector or not.
Would love to hear your thoughts too. Do you think there are any limiting beliefs holding back the progression of the non-profit sector around the world?
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.