All the socializing and networking that goes into securing and maintaining donations suggests that fundraising is a job geared towards extroverts. However, when leveraging their distinct personality traits to excel, introverts are the perfect fit for fundraising.
What is Introversion?
Although a common misconception, introversion isn’t about being shy or quiet. Instead, introverts tend to experience social situations as energy depletion. If you often need alone time to recharge after an event, you may be an introvert. On the other end, extroverts find social situations increase their energy levels. These differences - among many others between these personality dimensions - underlie differences in working styles, as well as help to identify the introvert’s work place strengths.
The Art of Introverted Conversations
Introverts excel in one-to-one communication, contrary to the shy, reserved stereotype. Extroverts may excel in large-scale social events like networking galas, but introverts will excel in smaller agency meetings, where they can create deep and personal connections with funders. Moreover, when speaking about a topic that interests them, introverts can be chattier than extroverts! When they are passionate and excited about the cause, conversation is easy and because of their genuine nature communication appears very authentic to donors. Additionally, introverts are also known to be great listeners, a valuable asset.
The Quiet Hunter
Prospect research is another area where introversion can lead to some impressive results. In general, introverts tend to prefer the quieter and more thoughtful nature of research. And with increased ability to focus on longer-term tasks, introverts can find those high worth hard to find prospects.
Even More Ways Introverts Excel
The introverted side of the personality spectrum encourages and supports some other very noteworthy fundraising skills. Introverts have been known to have impressive knowledge management, which can be extremely valuable to organizing and managing donor interaction and communication. Additionally, introverts tend to be good information processors, and can utilize well-developed planning and problem solving skills.
Take Pride in your Introversion!
Introversion supports and encourages great skill sets vital for the fundraising sector. Instead of being a perceived limitation, the introverted working style is an asset in many different fundraising situations. Instead of downplaying your introverted tendencies at your next performance review or job interview (or exhausting your energy by trying to be an extrovert!) take pride in your skills. Identify all the ways your particular working style is an asset to the team and how to leverage your strengths in all those upcoming fundraising campaigns!
Want to know more about Introverts in the Fundraising Sector? In addition to the resources linked to above, below are some resources to provide you with more depth on the topic:
- Fundraising for Introverts: How Introverts Can Stretch to Raise More Money - Practical tips about understanding your strengths and how they apply to fundraising.
- Quiet Changemakers: Introverts in the Non-Profit Sector - This free webinar will give you useful tips and advice on working in the non-profit sector as an introvert.
- Quiet Revolution: Work – This blog, written by introversion expert Susan Cain, explores various topics related to introverts in the workplace.