Boost Your People Skills While Helping Others

If you ever want to learn how to motivate people, take on a charity fundraiser. You will be faced with the challenge of your life and your business be stronger for the experience. When you work on anything for charity, you’re likely to be working on your own or with a small contingent of cheerful volunteers. You’ve got to recruit help from outside the organization and/or make the most of the talent you have. Either way, you learn to be an amazing administrator, a remarkable reminder, and an endearing encourager.

Lead by Inspiration
By taking on a major fundraiser, you get a big committee, complete with a potpourri of personality types and commitment levels. And not a single one of them has to do anything you say. You’ve got a short period time to assess who on the team will actually be of service, build rapport, and get them to buy into your mission. Otherwise it’s you stuffing 2500 envelopes and chasing down every last sponsorship lead.

There is virtually no accountability when it comes to volunteer work. Sure, a person who shirks civic duties gets a bad name, but some people don’t care. They will disappoint you. When you’re working with people who have little incentive to follow through you learn creative problem solving skills. You learn not to take anything personally. You learn what it feels like to be someone’s lowest priority. That’s humbling.

Network Like a Pro
Some people only serve the community because they think it improves their image. It can, but that’s not a good reason to get involved. Focus instead on the people you serve, and those you serve with. The relationships you create are priceless. There’s nothing like a good cause to bring people together. Plus, you get to rehearse skills that benefit your business. If you’re short on confidence to approach people you don’t know, get to work for charity. The skills it takes to ask for beverage donations for the local fun run are the same you need in any sales situation. When you practice asking for things for someone or something else, you polish your presentation style and get experience interacting with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise.

What have you learned while serving your community?

  • mike


    This is a great post. Kind of a tough love approach to developing your skills. Yes, charity fundraiser leadership can be a painful gauntlet for those not well connected. I think you concisely related the challenges and rewards (especially those challenges; ouch!)