During the holiday season, we are often reminded of the saying “It is better to give than to receive.” As a development professional, you know the importance of philanthropy and the joy it provides donors who contribute to causes about which they are passionate.

However, giving also provides a not-so-obvious gift to development professionals. To truly maximize your success as a professional fundraiser, you must also be a donor. Surprised? The following excerpt from an interview explains why this is so important.

In my experience, the best fundraisers are people who have experienced philanthropy for themselves and who understand the joys, as well as the fears and disappointments, that can accompany such a generous act. It’s really quite simple: People who give tend to have a deeper understanding of the giving experience and, because they do, they are better prepared to serve donors.

—Development Consultant

If you are not currently financially supporting a cause, ask yourself, “What would I like to accomplish with my money that would be meaningful to me?” Better yet, ask a colleague to lead this conversation to assist in uncovering your passion. Then, make a generous gift and explore your gifting experience by contemplating the questions below.

Ask & Act:

  • What factors influenced your decision to make this gift?
  • What questions or concerns did you experience before, during, and after making the gift?
  • How could the organization have done a better job of managing the gifting process for you?
  • What would inspire you to give more to this cause in the future?
  • How will you apply what you’ve learn from this experience to your work with donors?