Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How fundraising teaches persistence, patience and grace.

They say that patience is a virtue. They never told you that without patience one simply cannot be a good PR professional. Over the course of the last four months, I found myself becoming a more efficient and patient person. The public relations program really teaches one the importance of holding your head up high, being polite and patient, no matter how many refusals or turn-downs there may be. I recently worked on a fundraising project for the Wellwood organization. Many people in my class worked to raise funds for that organization in their individual groups. Everyone had fantastic ideas, and a lot of patience was required by everyone to turn their ideas into a reality. One of the groups in our class that worked for Wellwood even got coverage in Hamilton Spectator!

Fundraising is tough. It is really, really tough. But regardless of what the results, it gives you invaluable life lessons. One does inevitably encounter rejection from people when trying to collect funds, sometimes the rejection can be downright harsh.This is nothing against the people as I realize that this is crunch time and most people are too busy and too preoccupied for the most part. That is another thing the fundraising project taught me, that one should not always take rejection personally. One should remain persistent. By persistent here I do not mean that one should force it on people to give donations. I simply mean that one should not give up trying to collect donations in whatever way they can. Even if that means giving more time to trying to collect the funds, even if it means walking all around college and standing outside in the cold to collect donations. The fundraising project for wellwood also taught me that sometimes, one needs to gracefully accept that they cannot complete all of their goals. Sometimes, you do not raise the exact amount of funds you want but that does not make the effort count any less. 

Two weeks back, me and my group went around the college in wigs. This was an excellent tactic as we did grab a lot of attention - a lot more than we wanted, one could say. Haha. The idea was to promote the Wigged Out Wednesday wherein we had hoped 30 faculty members would be wearing wigs. We could not really get this event to happen on the scale that we had wished but we did not give up. When we did not hear back from the professors, staff and other faculty members, we took it on ourselves to go around wearing wigs and collect donations from students for our campaign. Even though the plan did not go as executed, we were able to raise a good amount of money. We knew, at the end of it all, that we had tried our best.

A lot of the work that I do at my field placement revolves around fundraising and soliciting sponsor-ships. There happen to be 10 rejections for every one approval. But every approval counts and makes a huge difference. And so, even despite all of the rejections, I do not give up.

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