Are graduates of fundraising diploma programs secretly feeling superior?
I love my AFP Toronto Chapter. Congratulations to all of the committee who delivered one of the most successful Congresses ever – over 1,000 delegates-WOW! Thank you for your hard work.
Catching up with friends and colleagues is my favourite part of the conference experience. Since I started using twitter to turn `connections`into real relationships these face to face interactions are even more special. However, one conversation I had this week was a little bit uncomfortable. It really stuck with me so I think it is worthy of further exploration.
Every time I see this person she seems to have a new job and we were talking about her most recent transition. During which she referred to her former colleagues as `uneducated fundraisers`. Of course I inquired for understanding – it sounded like she felt superior to fundraisers who hadn`t attended a formal college fundraising education program. Embarrassment set in for her when I clarified that I was in fact one of the `uneducated fundraisers` she was referring too. (All these years she assumed I was a graduate of the same program since we met in that context.) After that the conversation turned awkward. Thank goodness the session started.
I won`t use this blog to talk about the difference I`ve noticed between us `accidental fundraisers` and graduates of formal fundraising programs. That conversation really doesn`t serve much purpose. However, I would like reassurance that those who graduate formal fundraising programs don`t see themselves as superior to those of us who learned through our sweat and mistakes on the job.
Frankly after raising a lot of money, recently being recertified as a CFRE and having attended countless educational events and congresses – I consider myself pretty educated too.
A diploma from an educational institution is not the mark of a good fundraiser. A good fundraiser to me is someone who:
1. Can get and keep a job.
2. Can deliver the budget they are responsible for.
3. Teaches others along the way.
What do you think – are graduates of fundraising diploma programs secretly feeling superior to all of us?