Changing the dance

Fundraising is a dance between scarcity and abundance, in terms of the bottom line and the inner experience. Our organizations are working to change patterns of injustice that seem impossible to fix in our lifetimes; it’s not surprising that a wide range of reactions can and do affect our work. Unwittingly, we internalize capitalism’s shadow – the pecking order, the shrinking pie, the bootstrap.

It’s no mean feat to create a different foundation for raising funds in an atmosphere of economic collapse on top of a severely limited system.  But it is possible:

First it’s important (even revolutionary) to understand how anxiety robs us of our energy and our best thinking.  We act up or lash out or just beat up on ourselves.  We confuse activity with accomplishment.  And we forget that what’s most important is the attitude and invitation we are projecting out to the world.  Obvious perhaps, but I know that the more spacious and positive I feel about my ability to raise our budget, the easier it is to make the next call, engage the board, polish the proposal or think creatively.

Sustainability has got to be part of the work plan. If we cultivate the source of our strength, it will continue to serve us.

Start small.  Sit down for five minutes today, close your eyes, and inhale, filling up the belly.  Exhale.  Form an intention for the day.  Inhale and expand into its possibility.  Exhale and release what’s not useful.  Inhale.  Exhale.  And be grateful for it all.