Using Curiosity to Support your Fundraising


The Role of Curiosity in Fundraising

If knowledge is power, then curiosity is the muscle.  
- Danielle LaPorte

If you have spent any time in a cast, you know well that muscles, left unused, atrophy. To rebuild and stay strong, we need to re-learn how to engage and challenge our muscles. 

If curiosity is a muscle as LaPorte says, then my dear friend and partner at DBD Group, Thom Peters, is Arnold Schwarzenegger. When he asks “How are you?” he is not just being polite. He is knocking on the door of your soul and hoping to be invited in.

Thom wants to know your story and finds true joy in making real and authentic connections. His greatest hope is to learn what’s important to you and then connect you with others who share your passion. Thom is inquisitive and a connector on the grandest scale.  

When I reflect on all the great teachers I have had, Thom sits squarely at the top. He has helped me both personally and professionally to slow down, shine the light on others, ask great questions, find the power and beauty in silence, and sit fully present in the moments I have with someone. To have spent time with Thom is to have been celebrated for who you are and appreciated for the path you are on. Thom makes you feel special and that is a rare gift we all need! 

Fundraising: The Thom Approach

If in your work as a fundraiser, you are struggling to connect with potential donors or volunteers, I suggest that you learn how to exercise your curiosity. Like building any muscle, repetition and gradual increases will make you stronger.

Here are a few exercises to build your curiosity:

  • Put down your phone and learn a bit about your Uber driver.
  • Read a biography of someone who interests you (Want a suggestion? I recommend “Surrender” by Bono of U2 on audiobook).
  • Have lunch with a donor or volunteer you’ve known for a long time and see if can learn three new things about their background or interests.
  • Listen to your spouse or children and challenge yourself to stay present and connected during the whole conversation by asking questions.
  • Reach out to Thom Peters and feel what it’s like to be heard!

11-2This Month's Focus

We can all agree that it's important to stay sharp. This means committing to lifelong learning as nonprofit leaders and staff. As the world changes there are new needs and new solutions to be discovered. This month we will share lessons and resources to keep us all on track as a part of our Never Stop Learning theme.



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Posted by Jon Simons
Jon Simons

Written by Jon Simons

In his role as Executive Vice President, Jon has oversight over product development and training for DBD Group. He, along with the rest of the leadership team, provides strategic direction and insight for the company. He plays a key role in welcoming new consultants and ensuring that they offer the same quality service and tools as the rest of the DBD team.

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