No matter how you slice it, fundraising is a complex and delicate balancing act between professionalism and 'personality'. Children and young adults of this digital age stand to learn a great deal about self-presentation in fundraising, for it's in this cycle of selling the cause, growing a circle of support, and fulfilling a goal that polished people skills are supremely critical. From the introductory pitch, to collection of funds, to delivery of orders, the younger set can significantly blossom 'as people' when they're put to the test in fundraising.
As adults we know well that it's the first impression that counts. Something as seemingly innocuous as the words you choose when you first introduce yourself often determines the outcome of your interaction.
Perhaps a lost art among the young. This respectful, mature gesture is one of the most startlingly impressive things a child can do when meeting someone new.
Hands down, no one thing makes people feel more immediately at ease and open to conversation than that of a warm smile.
Locking eyes with someone immediately pulls them in, communicating self-assurance, openness and honesty.
How many times did we hear this as kids: 'Don't mumble!' It's because clear speech conveys confidence, intelligence even trustworthiness.
Please. Thank you. Have a nice day. It's amazing how just a few 'magic words' can mean so much and make things happen.
When one feels good about something, it shows. People have always and will always be won over by positivity.
Unfortunately in fundraising, 'no' is an oft-used word. The art of keeping one's chin up and responding to rejection with grace is key to any campaign and to everyday life.
Have your kids or students grown as a result of fundraising? Tell us about their experiences in the comments below.