#18 | What if vulnerability is fundraising's missing ingredient?

I have enjoyed getting to know Leslie Imhoof, Assistant Director of the Annual Fund at Susquehanna University, over the last several months. Leslie believes the best word to describe her role is that of a connector. She describes herself as a learner and listener - two critically important skills in a fundraiser’s toolbox. Much of our conversation was about fundraisers finding the right posture in their relationships with donors.

Leslie believes fundraising at its best is like putting together a puzzle: making the right connections between people with those places where they can experience greatest meaning.

In some cases, this means the fundraiser must be willing to take a back seat and afford a another representative the opportunity to take the lead in the relationship.

Leslie has discovered that vulnerability is messy and uncomfortable yet lends itself powerfully to creating meaningful relationships with our donors. She knows first hand how letting one’s guard down can dramatically enhance and establish trust in a relationship.

If you’d like to reach out to Leslie, she suggested connecting on LinkedIn.

As a reminder, we have a special six-part series that will broadcast the last week of 2018 between Christmas and New Years. Most of you have heard me say that the fundraising profession is in the midst of a messy adolescence. Likewise, I believe that those of us to whom non-profits go for advice are experiencing some growing pains of our own. As you’ve come to expect, I don’t mind asking questions in order to better understand why this might be. Rather than assert my own opinions, I decided we would enlist the opinions of a diverse group who are providing council and ask them what they think some of our challenges and opportunities might be. This special series will begin on December 26.

Jason Lewis