Here’s part four of chapter three of my book, A Day of Hope. If you missed the first three sections, you can follow the links below.
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
Once you’ve started to discover what you do best (your strengths), then it’s time to stick to them and not get side tracked with anything else.
I work daily to stay in my strength areas and try not to get pulled into other areas where I’m not the best. In the nonprofit world there are lots of grants that can be applied for by organizations doing good work in their community. Grants can be a great source of funding if a nonprofit is willing to go through the hard work of creating proposals, budgets and arguments of why they need the money. Applying for grants takes a tremendous amount of patience, time, administrative strength, and a left-brained, focused, strong person who can think logically. And that’s not me. I’m a very right-brained, creative person who loves people and likes to be a leader.
As a result, all of the fundraising we do for A Day of Hope reflects my strengths of being a creative, relational person. Sitting in an office by myself on a computer applying for a grant does not fit my strengths. What fits my strengths is having a vision for what we can do and working with people to creatively get there. This means we mostly do local events to raise funds and gather food for our work. It also means I use my love for people to build relationships that result in direct donations from individuals and companies.
In 2009, we did car washes twice a month for six months because they directly fit my strengths. When leading a car wash, I’m able to envision the goal of the event (we were there to raise funds and awareness for our cause), communicate that envision (by having 10 – 20 volunteers come every time), and create the event (actually piece it all together and make it happen).
I also led our Charity Food Bag Drop which was an amazing event where we collect food from homes in our local city to use for A Day of Hope. We distributed over 10,000 paper grocery bags to homes asking them to donate nonperishable food that we could use in our baskets.
It has been hard work to develop and find my own personal strengths. I have slowly made progress little bit by little bit, and that has been reflected in how we are run, the events we do, and the activities we take part in.