Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Then We'll do What's Hard

West Wing - 20 Hours in America II - Final lines

If our job teaches us anything, it's that we don't know what the next President's gonna face. And if 
we choose someone with vision, someone with guts, someone with gravitas, who's connected to other 
people's lives, and cares about making them better... if we choose someone to inspire us, then we'll 
be able to face what comes our way and achieve things... we can't imagine yet. Instead of telling 
people who's the most qualified, instead of telling people who's got the better ideas, let's make 
it obvious. It's going to be hard.

Then we'll do what's hard.


I don't know how many times when I've told somebody I'm a fundraiser they've replied with something along the lines of

"Tough Job"
"I'd say that's hard"
"I don't know how you do it"

Honestly I don't know if it's hard or not

It's what I do every day so it's my normal. I don't know anything about accountancy so I can't say whether that's harder or easier than running an event and likewise I can't say whether it's harder to drive a bus all day than it is to plan dm campaigns.

What I do know for sure is that fundraising only exists because the causes we're trying to support are hard.

Really hard.

     Defeat diseases that threaten our existence

     Stand up for the rights of the weak against the strong

     Protect children and the vulnerable from those that are supposed to protect them

     Feed the hungry

     Heal pain

These are the biggest challenges and species in history has ever taken on. 

If these were easy then they wouldn't be problems. If they could be fixed then governments would fix them because it would be good for votes.

But they're not simple

They are complex



and often beyond comprehension


They are important

Not because I say so but because humanity says so


People care about the hungry but feel helpless to do anything


People want to cure disease but don't have the skills to do it themselves


People would rather be hurt themselves then see a child in pain

It's really hard

Charities exist because of the will of the people - yes the same people who may also criticize charities.

Charities exist because people say something needs to be done

and maybe government or 'they' should do something about it


something needs to be done

people criticize charities because it is so important that their work is done and done well

but it's hard 

and it's complex

and fundraisers

well in someways our job is to simplify what's complex

to breakdown the insurmountable into achievable chunks

to provide hope that the impossible might be within out grasp

and to let people know what they can do.

It's our job to help others do what's hard.

and we're not good enough 


Tomorrow I'm going to the Ask Direct Summer School  to spend a couple of days with some of the brightest and best fundraising minds in the world so that we can get better at doing what's hard.

Next week 

Charity Hack 5 takes place and we'll be working with 5 awesome Charities to help them get closer to achieving their goals. 

We will be joined by 20 hackers all passionate, dedicated professionals willing to donate their expertise in fundraising, marketing, digital, project management etc to help bring the impossible closer to our reach.

So after these two events will I be amazing?


but I'll be a little bit better

and a little bit more prepared

and in the battle against the biggest challenges any extra weapons you can bring to the fight helps.

If you'd like to get better there is still time to join both the Summer School and Charity Hack just check out their websites.

and let's do what's hard 

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