Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Staying focused in LA
I recently celebrated my one year anniversary at the non profit where I head development and communications here in LA. Time flies when you're having fun.
The longer I am in LA, the smaller the city I came from, Denver, feels.
LA is huge. Our agency serves the entire county. That's a county of some ten million people. And 32,000 kids in foster care, the population we serve.
It can become overwhelming if you let it. When those feelings start for me, I go back to basics.
Like passion for mission.
An abused kid is an abused kid, no matter where she lives.
Homelessness is a societal issue everywhere. It's in the news a lot here in LA because the homeless population is very visible. Yet those calling the streets and alleys home are not any better off than homeless people anywhere else.
The non-profit community here is huge, and the corporate philanthropy is not huge. Similar to many other cities.
What has worked in this amazing, magical city for me as a development person and fundraiser are the same things that worked for me back in Denver: relationship building, passion for mission, and donor-centered fundraising.
Whenever I get overwhelmed I jump back into these basic tenets of my work.
In general, many development people and fundraisers for non-profits get overwhelmed. This is why the average time in position is only 14 months. This is why so many of us are looking for jobs.
When I stay focused on my basics, things are good. When I move into other people's negative opinions, lack of passion for mission, or frankly anything that I have no control over, things get messy.
When I stay focused, everyone benefits, including me, the abused kids we served, and all of those who are passionate about serving those kids.
Thanks for reading!