Ever wondered what it's like to be a fundraiser? To actively work for charities that are making a difference around the world? Well, I have.
That's why this week I spoke to The Fundraising People, a community that employs face-to-face fundraisers to support not-for-profit charities. Their "Difference Makers" are out on the streets of Australia everyday, actively making a difference to the lives of others. What does it take to be a Difference Maker? What are the ups & downs of this style of work? Here are your answers!
What three attributes do you look for when hiring applicants?
1. Positive Attitude
2. Knowledge of the position and the company
3. Sincerity and integrity
What is the number one turn off in a job interview?
Bad language and a poor attitude are a big turn off. We meet a lot of young travellers and some would talk to you in the same way that they talk to their friends and use inappropriate language or show a negative attitude. It shows that they are not ready for a job or not taking it seriously.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working for non-for-profit charities?
You wake up in the morning and you know that everything that you do today will have a positive effect on someone else’s life. At the end of the day, you look at the amount of money that have been raised for the humanitarian, health, animal and environmental charities that we work with and you stop for a second… you are part of this, you made it happen! What a great way to finish a day’s work.
What’s the most difficult part of face-to-face sales?
Working in sales really changes you from the core because of the rejection you face every day. If you are not used to it, then it can be the most difficult part of your job. A high level of energy and enthusiasm also needs to be maintained throughout the day in order to be successful. Some members of the public can be quite tough with our Difference Makers, but at the end of the day, it is the people who return your smile and donate to the charity that make it all worth it.
What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had when fundraising on the street?
Well, we work with various charities and they defend many topical and important causes. For example, we raise money for a prominent cancer charity, and the statistics show that 50% of the population will be affected by it at some stage. So having a conversation with someone who has been affected by cancer is bound to happen. It can be very confronting and sometimes challenging, but you learn to grow from it and keep a positive attitude throughout the day, knowing that your work is really helping real people.
What’s the best thing about working in sales?
We don’t see it as sales as you know it, in fact, we do not refer to “sales” at all. We raise funds and we do it with integrity and passion. The best thing about it is the feeling you get when you see that your hard work has a positive impact and makes a real change. Selling a watch to someone and getting someone to donate to a charity so they can offer education to a child in Nepal will have a different effect on you. We don’t sell, we inspire. And the best thing about it is to see that a small group of people teaming up, can change the world for the better.
Do you have any advice for our OneShifters on how to improve their profiles or how to make a better impression on potential employers?
A lot of people are looking for a job, and you will apply for many at the same time to increase your chance to get one fast. Just remember what role you have applied for and where you have sent your resume so when you receive “the” call, you will make the most of it.
1. Check the spelling on your resume!
2. Don’t forget to mention your contact details (mobile number, email, address).
On the phone:
1. Be polite & honest.
2. Use appropriate language.
3. Be happy & positive (a smile can be heard over the phone).
4. Don’t hesitate to ask questions!