So I begin this blog with a lot of deadlines looming.
The deadline for charities to register for Charity Hack is only 9 hours away.
I've a presentation to prepare for a group in Cork for Friday.
I've nominated myself for the board of Fundraising Ireland with the election in a couple of weeks
There are other deadlines too but not relevant here.
Yesterday I was asked the same questions a couple of times -Why?
I did a radio interview about Charity Hack and the interviewer asked me - Why I decided to create Charity Hack?
When the nominations for the board of Fundraising Ireland were announced people asked me - Why would you want to do that?
and when you tell people you're going to go to Cork to do a presentation just because somebody asked and you think you can help they ask - Why would you do something like that? - for free?
The glib answer of course is to quote George Mallory who when asked Why climb Everest? replied "Because it's there"
not that by any stretch of the imagination are the things I'm working on anything like the same challenge as Everest but I could say 'because they're there' and sit back smuggly
The truth is there's never such a simple answer to any question.
Why do I want to be on the board of Fundraising Ireland?
Well it's not because I like attending meetings
It's not because of a desire for power or influence
It's out of pride.
I'm very proud to be a fundraiser and very proud to work as part of the Irish fundraising sector. There are so many amazing passionate and talented people working in our sector. They are creative, dedicated and completely driven to doing the best job they can for their cause. I'm proud that they are my peers and that I can call some of them friends.
So why do I want to be on the board?
Well we as a sector aren't proud enough of ourselves.
Most professional fundraisers in Ireland don't even have fundraiser as part of their job title. Donor Development, Supporter Care, Relationship Officer, Corporate Partnerships - We use all these terms instead of just being up front and saying we're fundraisers. Are we not proud to be fundraisers?
How many of us when asked at a party "What do you do" would respond first by saying "oh I work for xxxx" and only when prompted again say "I'm a fundraiser"
Think of your doctor or lawyer friends and what they'd say when asked "what do you do?" - Would they say "I work for Delaney, Clowry and Finch" or "I work for the HSE"
Am I saying that fundraising is as important and as prestigious a profession as our legal or medical friends?
Well yes I am
There are fundraisers raising money for life saving drugs, for research into cures, for legal representatives for civil rights activists - In many instances fundraisers are directly responsible for saving thousands of lives. Well at least they're an important part of the life saving team. We should be proud of that.
Why else would I like to be part of the Board?
Well since I started Charity Hack I've been reminded more and more that the fundraising profession is a bit disjointed in Ireland. There are hundreds of people throughout the country working full time raising money for their cause without any connection to Fundraising Ireland - they may not even be aware it exists. They are often not aware that they can be trained to be better fundraisers or even that there is a huge amount of research they can access to help them do their job better. We need to reach these.
We need to connect with all fundraisers in big and small organisations. Give them the tools to be the best fundraisers they can be and be there to support them to develop their careers.
and that's what I'd like to do.
Finally back to Charity Hack.
Why do I want Charity Hack to continue to grow and multiply?
Well, because it's hard. It's hard to make a difference in society, to right wrongs. We're lucky that there are so many courageous people out there working in organisations with unbelievable goals.
To stop children dying from Meningitis
To prevent released prisoners reoffending
To stop the stigma of suicide
To find cures for cancer
To eliminate hunger
To protect children
There are thousands of people working on these challenges but it's bloody hard.
I believe that Charity Hack, by helping with fundraising, can make the challenge just a little easier.
Does that mean the developing fundraising campaigns in 12 hours for charities is easy?
That's hard too
but if people can take on the challenge of trying to solve some of the worlds biggest problems then I'm willing to take on the challenge of trying to help them
Let's do what's hard.