As an advertising/journalism student turned ‘accidental’ charity founder, I know a thing or two about mixing brand with passion. Outside of the “above-average” lives most people portray on Social Media, “the rest of us” can tend to coast through life wondering if there’s more. It’s been said that most people’s greatest challenge can stem from that burning question “what am I here for?” And I want to give a few ideas to help you find your true passion while making a difference in the world.
In 2010 our charity Angel House emerged as a direct response to a life-changing experience. It’s really simple – I saw the orphaned children, felt the immense need of the poor and needy, and was gut wrenched with compassion. I committed on the spot that I’d come back and help them by building them a home. What I didn’t realize is I had absolutely no idea how to do that, and zero dollars to do it with.
7 years later and a few million dollars raised, I have a little bit of that 20/20 hindsight. Although the methods and scale has changed, our main focus has not. We are here to tell a meaningful story and connect people’s hearts to our mission.
As I assist people from all walks of life in their fundraising journeys, the question for me is always the same. “Do you have any tips for fundraising?” and my answer is always the same. TELL YOUR STORY. Why are you doing this? What does it mean to you? Why should people care?
I want to touch on 3 ideas to help you discover your passion and use it to change the world. Apply them to your world, whether you’re in the non-profit world, business world or anything in-between.
1. Pursue it
Haven’t found something that makes you jump out of the bed in the morning? Or something thats so exciting it keeps you up at night? Keep looking! Sometimes the problems we see are just our calling in disguise. Some of the best inventions were created by problems that needed to be solved! Find what drives you and go after it!
2. Protect it
Have you ever noticed that the first people who will attempt to tear you down are probably doing worse than you? Passion can drive lazy people crazy. And that’s okay! You want your life/your brand to move people and drive them to action. Passion is contagious, but there will always be naysayers. Protect your passion, fan it to flame until others around you catch it too!
3. Proclaim it
As I mentioned in the beginning, passion sells. In my corner of the internet, we are able to use our voice to tangibly change lives by telling the stories of the children we’re trying to help. I am able to turn interested parties into donors, which translates into literal life change through the construction of new communities. How can you use your passion to sell your products? More than any tactic or strategy, use your voice. And don’t tell people what you think they want to hear- speak from your heart. You may just ignite something in someone else. Don’t just ‘sell’ – TELL!
In a world full of people searching for purpose, meaning and their place, let’s shine a light on the things that make the world just a little bit better!
Guest Blog Post Author Lindsay Russo