Thursday, May 24, 2012

Can You Be An Introverted Fundraiser?

It would seem difficult to be successful at fundraising as an introvert. The nature of the job means you have to deal with people on an ongoing basis. While it certainly helps to have an outgoing personality as a fundraiser, it's not a requirement.

According to Eva E. Aldrich and Tyrone M. Freeman, associate directors of The Fundraising School of The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, introverted people can bring a lot to the table when it comes to fundraising. Speaking at the 48th AFP International Conference on Fundraising, they said that harnessing their strengths can be helpful for organizations.

Here are some of those strengths:

  • Relationship building.
  • Listening.
  • Reflection.
 Aldrich and Freeman then discussed the best ways to get introverts to get past their comfort zones:

  • Reaching out.
  • Reflecting, and the acting.
  • Managing their energy.
  • Exploring roles.
As far as working with introverted colleagues (or donors), they suggested the following:

  • Allow them time for thinking and reflection.
  • Make space in the conversation.
  • Make time for relationships, and solitude. 

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