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Professionals say...

A great volunteer once told me and a group of young volunteers why he loved to ask people to give. He said when he asks for a gift the organization wins because it can serve more people. The people we are serving win because we can provide better services. Most importantly the people I ask for a gift win because they have an opportunity to participate in their community. It is this dedication that I believe is important for all of us who work in philanthropy. For people who are working with or intend to work with charitable and philanthropic organizations — especially those who wish to join the noblest of fields, fundraising, I offer these professional points for your career:

  • Work for charitable and philanthropic organizations that, if you could afford to, you would work for free. Love your work. Love your cause.

  • Learn about philanthropy, its history in the United States, and how it is conducted in other countries. Know more about the laws and regulations governing charitable and philanthropic organizations and charitable solicitation than your organization’s attorney.

  • Provide a voice for the people you serve. Encourage them to participate in the community. The greatest good we do is bringing about change in society.

  • Treat your staff like volunteers and your volunteers and your organization’s clients as if they are your boss.

  • Find people in the field you respect and speak with them frequently.

Have faith. One person can change the world.

Rita Fuerst Adams, CFRE
Charitable and Philanthropic Management Counsel

Reproduced from Careers in Fundraising, Lilya Wagner, John Wiley & Sons, 2002

Charity relieves need.
Philanthropy rewards promise.