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Finding Vision & Faith Through Purpose, Also known as Magic

by Tanya Pietrkowski

Finn sitting with me working over a cup of morning joe.

I am asked all the time, “What do you do?”

I do lots of different things and it all focuses on driving mission and building relationships.

One of the joys of being a fundraiser for so (so) many years is having the gift of mentoring others in the giving-back space and having those relationships come back to you when you don’t expect it, but maybe it’s when you need it most. I talked with a friend of mine this morning who has worked as a fundraiser for a decade. I helped to break her into the business and she is now at a cross roads. My counsel to her was come back to what feeds your soul and go from there. In her case, its working with arts organizations. I always have to remind myself of this same lesson.

It's easy to understand a standard 9-to-5 position, but the idea of walking away from that to shape my new vocation as a consultant was hard for people, including myself, to picture tangibly. I probably work harder now on several projects at once than when I had the grace of one employer at a time. I also find myself super engaged in working on projects I enjoy, unhindered by the expectation of adhering to internal processes for a specific organization. That said, I also have the ability to see through barriers others face internally at their organizations and can help them work through self-imposed boundaries because I am untethered.

My gift of self-assurance and big picture vision has been what I go back to when I ask myself what I am doing. This ability to always see the possibilities helps me to work others through their anxieties. Why isn’t this mission possible, why aren’t you thinking about the beauty of the mission you deliver as the driving force of everything you do—rather than the limitations of the process at hand?

In this time of great anxiety, it’s more important than ever to go back to what you love and allow that to drive your work. How often, do I meet artists that are put down for focusing on their art as their profession vs. finding the right “day job?” They are adding a magic and space for us to think about what we don’t understand in the world.

We need more visionmakers who lift us up through their big, wonderful ideas and are brave enough to bring them to fruition against the odds. This is faith implemented at its highest level. All the best fundraisers and nonprofit leaders understand this “it” faith factor and my job is to help everyone unleash these possibilities.

So, talking to my friend this morning reminded me of the magic of this work and my role in helping people find their mission, faith and vision. This is what I do.

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