Balancing Act: Family and Fundraising

Family First…
One of the single greatest advantages of fundraising work is our (my) ability to involve my family in our development work.

The Tight End
No pun intended, but I must say that my wife is by far the greatest fundraiser in our family. She doesn’t even have to try! When she is in the room all is well. One of the strategies that I often use with other couples is “divide and conquer”. I find that most of my male benefactors lever me [with their wives] to truly explain why we visit so often, and just how we plan to address “their” philanthropic aspirations.

Wives are usually the last to be engaged and cultivated, but first to be stewarded in my book. It just works. I divide and my wife does the rest. She does what comes naturally; talks about our kids first, and lastly about how much I travel. When men hear that its mutually exclusive. When women hear that… well you figure it out. I often joke with my benefactors and threaten to bring their most respected priest to the ask… Now the secret is out of the bag, my wife is the real force to reckon with.

Remember, the Tight End is commonly referred to as a Quarterback’s security blanket. I do agree!

The Kicker
Special Teams can make or break any football team. For this part of the team no position is more important than the kicker. Tough to find. Impossible to replace. When they miss it rips your heart out. When they hit it brings a big ol’ smile to your face. Haven’t yet figured it out… The kids! Yes, my kids are fundraisers too. It’s truly a team effort.

I recently attended an Upper East NYC Tea Party (for 12 ppl). Yes, it was as exclusive as you presume… Attendees were a who’s who… And the spread so delightful! Here comes Tony with his entire family [of 5] in tow (they were invited too). Three quick minutes into the Penthouse and our 2 month old son decides to “febreeze” the place with his lovely aroma. Number 2!!! Get it? The kicker! What a start to the visit…

Two hours later, and not a single peep out of our son. The kid was an absolute angel. I truly believe that everyone in the room forgot that he was even there. Suffice to say our host could not have been more accommodating. By the time we departed our son had become the life of the Tea… The kicker! All smiles as we stepped into the elevator to hit the street top. All smiles… Impossible to replace.

I hope that I’m not the only fundraiser dumb enough to involve family in our work… LMAO! It just works… And yes, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Live, Laugh, Love… Most of all Forgive!

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