From Fundraising to Coaching: What’s My Why

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Fundraising, Leadership Coaching, Personal Development

I thought I’d share a little more about me and what drove me to pursue a career in nonprofit fundraising, become a consultant on my client’s capital campaigns, and now offer a new way to help busy nonprofit professionals: coaching

Why did I get into nonprofit fundraising?

My first real fundraising job was for an organization that provided job training for people with disabilities. In my first six months, I coordinated a live TV telethon, a golf tournament, and an annual fundraising campaign. 

It was the definition of trial by fire. But I loved seeing that my work helped someone else live a better life. It was meaningful work and a meaningful cause.

Why did I get into consulting?

I moved from being a development director launching a capital campaign to being a consultant on my client’s capital campaigns. I loved the challenge and freshness and application of skills and talents to a wide variety of clients, from a startup nonprofit to one with a $20 million budget and 300 staff, from raising a $100,000 annual fund to a $75 million capital campaign. I loved seeing the impact of my work, and how a team of us could come together to achieve something huge that would impact people’s lives for years to come.

Soon I’ll be kicking off year seven of having my own company.

I can help you examine your thinking, challenge your beliefs, and find more peace, joy, satisfaction, and success.

Why did I get into coaching?

Despite success in my fundraising consulting work, I felt I could do better. Do more, raise more, feel more satisfaction from my work. 

As I looked back on my fundraising career, I recalled those times when I was frustrated. 

When I didn’t agree on the strategy. 

When I thought the board of directors could do more to help raise money. 

When I could have built better relationships with donors. 

When I felt overwhelmed with the list of things to do and the requests that just kept coming. 

When I felt our team could be stronger.

I’ve felt some of the same frustrations you’ve felt. Coaching helped me work through them and realize what was standing in my way was me. 

I started to understand how powerful it can be when you take the time to become more self-aware and think about what’s important to you. When you step back to consider whether you are moving in the direction of your goals, or if you are focused on the things you don’t want and don’t like.

I became a coach myself so I could help fundraising professionals benefit from guided introspection. 

I’d like to help you work through your frustrations and challenges, and figure out what’s standing in your way. Because fundraising and running a nonprofit can be challenging, and we all need someone cheering us on. 

I can help you examine your thinking, challenge your beliefs, and find more peace, joy, satisfaction, and success. Contact me to learn how coaching can help you with your why. 

Bonus Allison Trivia Section

So now that you know my whys, here are a few other things about me:

  1. Hometown? Knoxville, Tennessee
  2. What brought me to Hampton Roads? My spouse’s military career
  3. What keeps me in Hampton Roads? The people, the quality of life, job opportunities for both of us, good climate, good Mid-Atlantic location.
  4. Dogs or cats? Definitely dogs. We’ve had three Jack Russell Terrier mixes, all shelter dogs (not at one time though). I’m still negotiating for another dog.
  5. Favorite splurge to cook? Tiramisu. I use my friend Emilia Ciotola’s recipe from Naples.
  6. Favorite hidden talent? Glassblowing. I’ve taken five classes at Perry Glass Studio.
  7. Favorite Covid activity? Camping! We bought a small RV and traveled to many Virginia state parks. 
  8. Favorite things to do on a day off? Sleep late, bicycling, hang out with Scott and Tucker, go out to dinner, go on a drive, watch a good movie.
  9. Favorite game? Trivial Pursuit
  10. Favorite songs? “Rocky Top” – UT Vols fight song, “Stars on the Water” by Jimmy Buffett, “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “Ultra Violet” by U2, “Days Like This” by Van Morrison, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, “Where is the Love” by Black Eyed Peas, “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
  11. Favorite recent books? “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr and “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown.
  12. Favorite shows? “Billions,” “The Mandalorian,” “Sex & The City,” “Finding Your Roots,” “The Profit,” “Stanley Tucci’s Italy.”
  13. Favorite movies? Any “Star Wars” movie, “Casablanca”, “Old School,” “Eat Pray Love”, “When Harry Met Sally,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Parasite,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Goodfellas.”
  14. Favorite places? Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Florence, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey.
  15. Favorite Hampton Roads thing? BBQ at Doumar’s.

Let’s Talk

Schedule a complimentary call with me to learn how coaching can help you find more peace, joy, satisfaction, and success.