Tribe Table is all about bringing people together who want to make a difference. While I started this site as a way to help anyone planning a fundraising event, I wanted to also create resources that connect with introverted, shy, or people just starting out in fundraising. As an introvert myself, I’ve had a ton of personal experiences that lead me to 100% believe that not only is fundraising a job that social caterpillars can do, but that we can be EPIC at it.
When we normally think of introversion in fundraising, often times we think of certain traits as liabilities instead of assets. I’m here to convince you otherwise.
Here’s just a few examples of how a simple mindset switch about a trait can help you be an awesome fundraiser.
You naturally like to listen to people more than talk.
This means that you spend more time really understanding not only the problem that you're trying to solve, but also hearing what your donors are really looking for as far as solutions. This also helps with getting to know your donors and hearing their hopes, dreams and fears. This allows you to go above and beyond for them and in turn, do more for the community that you serve.
Small talk isn't all that appealing. You'd rather have real conversations.
While small talk definitely has its place because it allows you an easy bridge to start connecting, it fantastic that you actually want to build real relationships with people.
I think a lot of time introverted people think “well, i hate small talk so I'm terrible at networking” and that's just not true. You're forgetting that the two aren't mutually exclusive.
Personally, if much rather talk to the person that asks me questions, looks at me while I answer ( not scanning the room for a next victim), and then asks engaging follow ups that show me that they're really hearing me, and they get it. Wouldn't you?
Sounds super selfish, I know. Its the classic lizard brain going to town.
But as introverts, we have the built in ability to make people feel more interesting, appreciated, and special. How you ask?
Well simple, it’s uncomfortable to talk about ourselves, so make the conversation about them instead!
Often times, you're better in writing because it gives you a chance to think over what your going to say.
This is a great advantage to have when creating your messaging so that it really gets across to other people that this cause matters.
Use that skill and put in extra time with all of your content. That means your website, ask letters, your online campaigns, even your social media posts. Use this skill to really speak to people’s hearts. Make the cause worthy. Make donors feel special. And most of all, make people feel needed.
Careful reading and research is your jam.
This one is definitely a big one for me. I've always loved starting a new topic by finding out what other people have learned first. This definitely stems from a fear of jumping in the pool and making mistakes for a lot of us, but let’s spin this!
Taking the time to read as much as you can about a topic is HUGE in 3 ways.
You clearly are very interested in the topic, and by reading up you're training your brain to turn that interest into a real resource
You learn waaay more essay faster because you get access to other people’s insights and can then make better decisions.
You learn from other people’s mistakes. So you don't waste a ton of time going all in in the wrong things.
Whether you’re introverted, shy, or maybe just a little unsure because things are new, being a social caterpillar isn't all that bad. Remember that all of these things can work against you or for you. It’s just up to you and where you focus. Any situation, good or bad can be a major disadvantage or an amazing opportunity. You decide which it is.
What are some of the major advantages that you've found by being a social caterpillar?
I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below, or join the conversation in the facebook group.