What are you passionate about? The term “passion” is almost always inextricably tied to philanthropy. You give your money and time because of your passion and dedication to the cause.

The word “passion” has a very interesting etymology. The word comes from Middle English, which inherited it from Old French, and adapted from late Latin []. The word in its original Latin form was ‘pati’, to ‘suffer.’ Suffering is a peculiar way to describe activities you care deeply about. If I am suffering an experience, how is this synonymous with love of that activity? If an experience causes suffering wouldn’t I avoid it permanently?

Passion - Jonah HalperThe definition of passion goes deeper than describing a strong love for an experience. It means that your beliefs and desires are so intertwined with the experience, that you are willing to suffer for it. Any other person would give up when things get tough (and they at times do) but because of your dedication to the cause you are willing to suffer through it. You are willing to suffer FOR it.

Successful fundraising doesn’t happen easily, or over night. It requires you to break your teeth on identifying, meeting and courting new people and you can’t do this if you are sitting on the couch. Dating and fundraising is about putting yourself out there. Unless you are meeting new people and connecting over common interests, then there is no chance of having any success meeting and inspiring the right people. When you have a mission that you believe in, this becomes much easier. You are charged by something greater than yourself and this sense of duty motivates you to make those calls and connections, even when your nerves make it difficult to pick up the phone.

Passion gives you the motivation you need and it helps you remember that you are not asking a prospect to give YOU money. You are asking them to give money to support something important. Something great. Something you believe in to the extent where you are willing to suffer for it.

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