The inspiration for this post came from Seth Godin’s blog, which Jeff and I receive daily. We highly recommend it; you can sign up here. Recently, Seth wrote the following:
“True connection is a frightening prospect.
When you are seen by someone else, really seen, it hurts even more if you’re ultimately rejected. When we connect, we make promises, buy into a different future, engage with another, someone who might let us down (or we might let them down).
Far easier, of course, to do something more shallow.
A friend on social media is not like a friend in real life.
And so, we sit at dinner, browsing on our phone instead of connecting with the person across from us. Because the phone promises instant gratification, an exciting dopamine hit, and plenty of faux intimacy.
Which is great as far as it goes, but no, it’s not the same.”
This got me thinking about all of my relationships and what steps I could take to be more real in each of them. My focus has been on aligning who I really am to what I am projecting, saying what I am thinking and getting better at listening. I have made progress. But being fake and superficial is a hard thing to change.
Seth’s blog also got me thinking about the relationship you have with your caseload donor. That donor is sitting there on the caseload as a potential economic unit, able to contribute to your personal success this year IF you can persuade her to part with the money.
That’s the problem. We often regard her as an economic unit rather than the human being she is – a human being filled with a longing to make a difference in our hurting planet. She has turned to you as a partner in doing good, so that with your help, she can make a difference.
Will she find in you a trusted partner? Or will you just use her to your economic ends?
Be careful that you don’t succumb to the temptation to engage in fake intimacy so you can achieve your objectives.
Instead, just before you make that call or show up for that visit or write that email or text – before you contact the donor in any way, ask yourself the following question: “Will this action or communication help this donor fulfill the longing she has to make a difference?” If your answer is “yes,” move ahead.
If your answer is “no,” then stop and regroup. Reorder your tactics and strategy so that your donor’s interests and passions become the primary focus of your activity. Believe me, if you do that right you will also get the money.