Are you an accidental fundraiser?
How did you become a fundraiser? Did you make a decision that you wanted to work for a specific charity or cause? Did you study fundraising? Or perhaps you have applied your marketing or business development qualification to the charity sector?
Or did you just arrive by accident? That’s OK. Many fundraisers do.
Sometimes we think we arrive at what we are doing in our lives by accident, but I think there is always a series of events and decisions that whilst may not be clear at the time, will lead you to opportunities that you choose to take, that have led you to where you are right now.
Back in 2005 Steve Jobs said something in his Stanford commencement speech about connecting the dots that perfectly articulates this.
Jobs described connecting the dots as following your gut, doing the things that feel right, the things that you are curious about even if they don’t have any obvious practical application. He said that you may not understand at the time, but you have to trust that somehow that the dots will connect in your future.
Jobs tells a story about dropping out of college that gave him the opportunity to drop in on classes that interested him. He went to calligraphy classes and learned about typefaces and spaces between different letter combinations. It had no relevance for him at the time, but 10 years later when he was designing the Macintosh computer his calligraphy knowledge played an important part in the Macs design. It was the first computer with beautiful typology.
You can see the speech here.
I think the valuable lesson is that no matter where we are in our lives, we need to stay curious, learn new things, have experiences and follow our gut. This is how we create dots, that we can then connect in our future that will provide us with opportunities.
How did you become a fundraiser? What are the dots that you can now look back and join? Please share. I’d love to hear your stories.