When a book called Pursuing Purpose hits our press, we definitely take notice. We’ve been busy recently defining our core values and really focusing on what it means to build a business that makes the world a better place, so this book by Amy Varga of Varga Consulting came to us at just the right time. We reached out to Amy to get the story behind these pocket guides to better fundraising.
Can you tell us a bit about Varga Consulting and the work you do there?
Varga Consulting partners with nonprofit leaders to grow more financially stable organizations and build the leadership necessary to operate them. We do this by supporting nonprofits on a variety of projects like capital campaigns, crafting fundraising strategies, board development initiatives, business modeling, training on how to ask donors for major gifts, and one-on-one executive coaching among many other kinds of projects.
The book you created with us is a pocket guide to fundraising. Can you tell us something common that people get wrong when they do non-profit fundraising, and what they should focus on getting right?
Fundraising isn’t about selling people something, it’s about serving them. It’s about finding the point of intersection between a donor’s goals and the needs of the organization. It’s about truly, deeply caring about donors and helping them make an impact through your organization. The program team at an organization is charged with serving the clients your organization serves; the fundraising team is charged with doing that with donors. I believe that empathy is at the heart of effective fundraising.
How did the idea to create a pocket guide for fundraising come around? How do you use the books?
There is so much out there about how to do fundraising, but not enough about how to stay connected to why you’re doing it in the first place. I have been developing a new set of workshops, tools and resources to support fundraisers and board members in how to articulate and stay connected to their own deep sense of purpose that fuels their work. The world doesn’t need another workbook or listicle on the Top 10 Ways to Raise More Money. The world needs more people who deeply care. This pocket guide is about helping fundraisers tap into why they care and how to sustain that caring, and sustain themselves.
We love the lettering and design throughout this book. Who designed them?
Isn’t it great?! My business relies on the amazing graphic design talents of Kelli Meyer of Alley Dog Designs. She’s been a big part of my success, and I couldn’t do what I do without her.
There are a lot of great quotes in this book. Is there a specific one that has called out to you or led you throughout your career?
I love quotes and infusing poetry into the workplace. Right now, I’m really trying to practice the wisdom of the Josh Billings quote, “Half the trouble of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” Prioritizing my time as an entrepreneur and mom to two young children is a constant challenge. I share lots many more of my favorite quotes on my insta feed!
Huge thanks to Amy for taking the time to speak with us about these books! You can find more about her and the work she does on her website.