My conversation today with Jillian was a great reminder to me of what I have always believed to be one of the most meaningful aspects of nonprofit work: the opportunity to create community around common struggles. For most of our lives, Jillian and I have shared a common obstacle that can interrupt our daily lives in life-threatening ways. 99% of the time, our seizure disorders are completely manageable, and we can exist in the world just like other able-bodied citizens. Unfortunately, in a matter of seconds and without warning, our lives and the lives of anyone in our care can be at great risk. Discovering that we shared this common thread in our stories is what initiated today’s podcast conversation.
Jillian insists that the best fundraisers are always curious, authentic, and able to bring their whole selves to their work. This is what Jillian demonstrated today; she showed up, shared a part of her story that no one would be able to make sense of without the benefit of a conversation like this one, and she came to be curious and share an interest in learning about the stories of other colleagues who share similar experiences. The question Jillian raised was how unseen diversity impacts a fundraisers journey. And furthermore, how can our professional community demonstrate a commitment to listening to and understanding the aspects of each other’s story that exist below the surface?
As always, we are especially grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast.