"Well it's been building up inside of me
For I don't know how long...."
As many of you know, for the past several years I've worked in the development offices of two Indianpolis nonprofits and volunteered for several others. And for quite some time now, I've been questioning whether or not fundraising is the right career for me.
Don't get me wrong- there are many, many aspects of it that I love. For starters, nothing is better than going to work everyday knowing that you are making a difference- whatever it may be- in the world. Over the past several years, through work, financial contributions and volunteerism, I've been able to contribute in some small way to conservation efforts locally and globally, animal rescue and advocacy, AIDS research and education efforts, providing indigent health care, restoring historic homes, providing for paralyzed and disabled veterans, feeding the homeless and caring for our nation's kids.
And I don't do it so that I can sit in the comforts of my living room and type that list on my laptop and pat myself on the back for a job well done, because to be honest, the best reward isn't any kind of accolades or praise- it's knowing that I'm contributing to something I believe in.
But as of Friday, it isn't my job anymore, and while I am confident it was the right decision for me, it's still a little scary. In truth, I've known for awhile that I wasn't going to be pursuing fundraising- at least not direct asks- as my career. I LOVED planning the events, LOVED meeting the donors and getting to know them and engaging them in the awesome stuff my nonprofits were doing. But in the end, asking them for money really really really wasn't what I wanted to do. I took every "no" personally and saw every cancelled or turned down meeting as a rejection. Unfortunately that's, um, a rather crucial part of the job.
Then, last year, I started my own company out of my home creating flower works for special events like weddings, nonprofit fundraisers, and for holidays. What never felt like work quickly grew enough to be a full-time job, and before I ever expected it to happen, I was faced with the choice of staying in fundraising or of jumping off the cliff into the unknown abyss of self-employment, taking the big risk of going out in my own in a shaky economy.
And I leapt.
So, as of tomorrow morning, I'm "on the job" for myself- and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bit scary!! At the same time, I'm so grateful to the friends and family who have supported me in this. I'm not sure what the future will bring, but I know I'm making the right move!
"Don't worry baby (don't worry baby)
Everything will turn out alright...."