Scrubs is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. If you aren't familiar with the show, it's a comedy (sometimes dramedy) about a medical resident, his friends and their lives in a hospital. The theme song says, "I can't do this all on my own. I'm no superman."
This lesson is something that I had to learn the hard way. I was always the student who hated group work, because I shouldered most of the responsibility. So, over the course of my career, I came to view myself as a bit of loner. "I like to work independently," I would tell myself.
The problem, of course, is that you can't. As a fundraiser, you are immediately in a position of dependence on the donor. The donor is not obligated to support you. Our profession is by definition, dependent.
Secondly, you can't stuff all the envelopes yourself. You'll need to work with staff, interns, or vendors to meet all of your job tasks. And working in an office in any capacity is a dependent situation.
When I came back to my alma mater to work, I was hired along with 5 other individuals, 4 of whom were development staff. We went through training together and helped each other through our time at the organization. We called our little group "Our Pledge Class". It was with the pledge class that I finally realized that you are stronger if you form alliances with others. Even if I could do it on my own, it was easier and a lot more fun with others.
Scrubs ended but I have read that Zach Braff and Donald Faison (the actors who play the two main characters from Scrubs) are still best friends. All of my "pledge class" has moved on from that organization but we keep in touch. I know if I called any one of them for advice or a favor today, they would help me out.
So, my takeaway for today (inspired by the show Scrubs) is to cultivate your work relationships as much as you cultivate your donor relationships.
And here's a compilation of all the Scrubs EEEEEEEEAGLEs to make your Friday awesome!
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.