Fundraising Professional Development

Fundraisers: Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping outside of your comfort zone to learn a new task is a great way to elevate your career. Determining what to try, and then how to go about it, will vary greatly among individuals.


So what might that look like? Consider a few of the following approaches, techniques that can help one advance as a fundraiser or professional.


Take On Tasks You Don’t Enjoy

Sometimes, thinking about jobs we don’t enjoy may indicate areas of weakness. Write down a few tasks or roles within your department, school or organization that you wouldn’t normally do. Then, review the list and consider what you may enjoy learning, or ask yourself “Why am I not interested in this?”

For example, I can’t imagine working in finance or tech, but I love money and observing how companies utilize tracking services to boost business. Taking the time to sit down with someone in finance, or a colleague in marketing can help me understand all of the puzzle pieces it takes to make their respective areas run smoothly.


Try Jobs That Make You Slightly Uncomfortable

You’ve heard this advice before, but how often do you actually utilize it? How often do you place yourself in an area that challenges you or pushes you out of your comfort zone?

Commit to trying and perfecting a job that you wouldn’t typically do. I push myself to take on tasks that require public speaking, phone calls, or tasks that a naturally shy person (which I am) wouldn’t enjoy. The more I try new things, the more I put myself in a position to succeed. Taking on such tasks also helps me improve areas of weakness, expand my skill set and boost my confidence.


Make Time for New Lessons

If you are committed to your job, working in athletics development or fundraising can be time consuming. Tasks never end, and there are always new projects to tackle.

Make time to learn outside of work, specifically in ways that are unrelated to your career. Sometimes, the best advice one can receive comes from those who know you best. Consider taking time to volunteer, observe, learn, and if your time is very limited, call or connect with your network, friends or family. The best advice I have ever received professionally and personally came from those closest to me: my family. Ask questions and obtain constructive criticism. Stepping away from work to connect with the ones you admire the most can motivate you to work smarter and harder.

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