Welcome to part 2 of my September mini-series on how to harness your powers for good and plan a fundraiser from the ground up. In part 1 I shared 7 tips for planning a fundraiser. Today I’ll be talking about finding a Robing to your Batman, or the importance of finding a co-chair for your fundraiser so you don’t drive yourself crazy.
If I were a superhero, my powers would include:
- The ability to think long-term and know when things need to get done
- Writing to-do lists and breaking larger tasks into smaller action items
- Finding & managing a team of passionate people
- Public speaking
My personal kryptonite includes:
- Asking people for things (especially for help or tangible items)
- Admitting when I need help
- General shmoozing and marketing
- Thinking I have to do it all alone
All of these things together in this second list cause me a lot of undue stress; I worry about things months before they need to get done, and often allow myself to feel completely overwhelmed at times.
When I started planning my first fundraising event from the ground up last year, I would seriously lay awake at bed in the middle of the night, thinking about every little detail and wondering how I was going to manage it all. Not exactly something an already sleep-deprived new mom wants to be doing. After I would nurse Eve, who was still a newborn when I really started planning, I would would have a really hard time falling asleep because my mind would be racing, thinking about everything that had to get done and it would freak me out.
I have this terrible habit of feeling like I have to do it all, partially because I’m a control freak, and partially because I hate asking for help.
It feels like I’m inconveniencing people, but it is such an important part of successfully running a fundraiser. I could not realistically do everything, and with time I came to realize that people genuinely wanted to help.
The reality of planning a fundraiser is you absolutely cannot do it alone. Not only that, you want to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and find someone whose superpowers complement your own (added bonus if their superpowers will protect you from exposure to your kryptonite). Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little), but I’m a rockstar when it comes to planning–I’m really good at seeing all the little details and how much time it will all need. In contrast, I’m terrible at soliciting, which is a huge part of any fundraiser (especially if you are planning on having any sort of prizes or raffles). It makes me really anxious just thinking about it.
But even if I was good at both, I knew I couldn’t do everything unless I wanted to end up completely burning myself out.
So I put a call out and was able to find an amazing co-chair for the event. She shone and took charge in the areas that were not my strong suit, and I was able to focus my energy in the areas in which I excel.
In addition to finding someone whose skill-set complements your own, you want to find someone
- with whom you enjoy spending time (because you will likely end up spending quite a bit of time together)
- who is also passionate about the cause
- who is on the same page about the event and what needs to get done
- who will challenge you creatively
- who will think of things you might miss or might not even occur to you
My co-chair had some fantastic ideas that had not even crossed my mind that helped us to save money on our event, and with a background in realty had the marketing and sales skills that I really lacked. She also was a person with whom I could bounce off my own ideas, who took on some of the work load so I did not feel so overwhelmed, and was overall a blast to hang out with. (As an added bonus, we got along so we well have since had playdates with our daughters!) I may still have had some sleepless nights thinking about everything that had to get done (but let’s face it, I’m always going to be that way), but at least I had a partner in crime to keep me sane.
[Tweet “Finding a Robin to your Batman: The importance of finding a co-chair for your #fundraiser]
Have you ever worked with someone to plan an event? What do your superpowers include, and what is your personal kryptonite?
If you haven’t read the first part, don’t forget to read 7 tips for planning a fundraiser from the ground up, and come join up again next Monday as I talk about finding a badass lair, or how to find an awesome venue for your fundraiser.
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