TEA BREAK WITHELISE KANT
What kicks you off on Monday morning?
What kicks me off on Monday morning is my dream and passion for justice. My task is to make sure that organizations can find the means to fight injustice and to realize their vision of peace, equality, and justice.
Additionally, fundraising is about connecting people and since I find this to be one of the most wonderful things to do, that kicks me off.
What inspires you in fundraising?
Fundraising makes you stand with your feet in the mud and your head in the clouds. You must be practical, you must be businesslike and you really have to know what you are talking about. But in order to “sell” the purpose you want to raise funds for, you need to have an authentic passion. You cannot convince anyone without being passionate yourself. This combination of business and passion, of vision and being grounded, is what I like deeply about fundraising.
Fundraising makes you stand with your feet in the mud and your head in the clouds.
I am a fundraiser for Kerk in Actie and and I am happy and proud that we take the organizations we work with seriously, as real partners, with the aim of sharing (instead of donating and receiving) spirituality, resources, and learning from each other. Mutuality is very important in anything we do. Also in fundraising, it shouldn’t be about “donor“ and “receiver”. We both have the shared common dream of a better world and we have to work together to achieve it.
Do you foresee any fundraising trends?
I do see an interesting trend in individual fundraising. For years, churchgoers just donated money. They trusted the church and believed the money was well spent. But with changes to society and the increase of individualism, people themselves want to decide where their money goes, and their involvement is much more critical. This happens to all “good cause” organizations. This request for accountability is a good development. However, sometimes this leads to oversimplified judgments and mistrust.
This request for accountability is a good development. However, sometimes this leads to oversimplified judgments and mistrust.
Yet, I find it very intriguing that only at Serious Request, this critical approach is forgotten and people don’t hesitate to donate without questioning where their money goes. All of a sudden the lovely fact that people unite for a common goal of a peaceful world that we all care about conquers all criticism. And then, on January 1st, when Serious Request is over, all of a sudden all these people once again become very critical. It would be wonderful if we can create this spirit of taking care of each other all year round. Within the churches we try to do this not only at Christmas but throughout the year. It is wonderful to see how people really make an effort to work together.
Any other interesting trends in institutional fundraising?
After changes in funding from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all organizations are suddenly turning to the player that used to be invisible until now, the big foundations. And still I think there is a big gap between organizations and foundations, they can’t really find each other yet. Sometimes, foundations don’t spend all their money because they can’t find suitable organizations to support. Sometimes the cause is that the organizations are not well-known, while other times the cause is that the quality of received applications is not good enough or they can’t find organizations that are able and willing to implement their policy.
What is the most important quality of a good fundraiser?
Being able to be silent and listen. Before you start selling anything, you need to listen carefully to what the dreams and passions are of the person you’re speaking with. Only start talking once you know that. It will give your meeting a different and deeper level to connect. * Serious request is a fundraising campaign on Dutch radio, where 3 DJ’s are locked inside of a glass building and people can request songs in exchange for a donation.
Being able to be silent and listen. Before you start selling anything, you need to listen carefully to what the dreams and passions are of the person you’re speaking with.
Chair of the Supervisory Board at WO=MEN Consultant for Kerk in Actie
About the series
Have you ever wondered whether you had more in common with your peers than just your passion for making a difference? Through informal interviews, we explore the ultimate drives of fundraising professionals, donors and association’s leaders, as well as their secrets for successful Mondays and their insights about the NGO and fundraising sector. Grab a cup and read on!
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