Missing: Passion for People


By Katie Reynolds

We all have passion–that’s how our non-profits get started. We have passion and a drive to see a need met. We care about our cause, but do we care about people?

Once we start moving forward with our organization, we quickly realize the importance of having a professional network. An article on Beth’s Blog discusses the in’s and out’s of creating a professional network–how to squeeze the most benefit from the experiences of the people you form relationships with.

In looking at and analyzing one’s own network, the article mentions three traits of people you should know:

  1. People who are generous. They share expertise, best practices, and contacts in other industries with you.
  2. People who are influential. They are influential in that they mentor and support you. You can go to them for advice.
  3. People who care about you. They challenge your thoughts, offer feedback, push you to be better.

Who knew a selfless venture could become so much about you. How can I build my network to leverage my mission?

Beth offers networking approaches of either “strategic” or “serendipitous” when forming professional relationships. Strategic is focused on aligning your connections with your organizational purposes. Serendipitous is more casual–committing to social events without specific motives of leveraging your network.

In the sentiment of the non-profit sector, doesn’t it make more sense to take the serendipitous approach? We, as a philanthropic people have a heart for our mission to better the lives of others. Let us carry this over to our social interactions in the spirit of selflessness.

It might be naive thinking, or is it simple truth?–be a genuine person, and genuine people will gravitate to you.


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