The Gift of Your Life’s Work

The Gift of Your Life’s Work

When employees arrive for their first day of work at Apple they are greeted with this inspirational note:

“There’s work and there’s your life’s work. The kind of work that has your fingerprints all over it. The kind that you’d never compromise on. That you’d sacrifice a weekend for. You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. They want their work to add up to something. Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else. Welcome to Apple.”

What a great message to welcome new employees! Now that you’ve been raising money for a while, how do these phrases describe your impression of what you do?

THE DRIVE

There’s work and there’s your life’s work. Is fundraising just a job to you, or do you get up every morning thinking, “Who can I ask for money today?” Are you passionate about fundraising or are you just going through the motions? Fundraising is hard. It’s a lot easier to do every day when it’s your life’s calling.

YOUR MARK

What has your fingerprints all over it? Effective fundraising is all about relationships. What are you most proud of when you look over your past two years? Is it the cool brochures you created or the brand spankin’ new software you purchased? Is it the great banquet you organized or the best direct mail letter you’ve ever written? These things are important, but the best thing about fundraising is the chance you get to meet people and win new friends to your ministry. Donors will remember you long after your brochure expires.

NO COMPROMISE

What would you never compromise on? What would you sacrifice a weekend for?  How committed are you to your organization’s mission and vision? Does it drive you to give 110%? Are you willing to work nights and weekends, if needed? It’s easy to become a fundraising work-alcoholic, so it’s important to maintain a life/work balance, but how willing are you to sacrifice for the cause?

TAKING RISKS

You can do that kind of work at Apple. People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. Fundraising is a risky business. Asking for a gift is a high-risk, high-reward venture. Apple has a risk-taking culture. You might be risk-adverse by nature. It’s safe to stay in the office and be an inside development person, but the real action happens when you visit donors. Don’t stay in the shallow office pool, jump into a major donor conversation in someone’s living room.

SOMETHING BIGGER

They want what they do to add up to something. Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else. Apple employees believe that what they do makes a difference, and they have changed the way millions of people live, but your mission has eternal value. Kingdom work is the biggest work of all. Your fundraising efforts are providing the salaries of front line workers who are reaching the lost with the life changing message of the Gospel. If you didn’t do what you did, it would be hard for your other team members to do what they do.

IT MATTERS

Welcome to Apple. This welcome note has to inspire new employees that they play an important role in Apple’s future success. You are vital to your ministry. Sometimes Christian organizations don’t do a good job of expressing their appreciation for their employees. Whether your ministry acknowledges you or not – you are important.

Welcome to Fundraising!

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Ron Haas is a Vice President at The Timothy Group. Ron has served as a pastor, the vice president for advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, and a board member of a college, camp, church and foundation. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at development conferences and has written many fundraising articles.

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