Fundraising with Joy Interview Series – Liz Rejman

Liz Rejman, CFRE
Knowledge connector | lifelong learner | organized adventurer

I originally met Liz through the APRA Canada association. Anyone who has met her (virtually or IRL) knows she has so many passions – fundraising, prospect research, teaching, social media, travel, wine, etc. Her adventurous spirit makes her a natural networker as she loves to learn about other people’s passions, share hers, and make connections to bring like minded people together. She has been the catalyst who brought many wonderful new people into my life in 2012. I had the joy of being a coach to Liz and supporting her journey to articulate her unique personal values. It is an ongoing delight to watch her live those values to the fullest.

Check out Liz’s new blog Musings from the Swing Office at http://erejman.wordpress.com/

Janice: What made you choose a career in the social profit sector?

Liz: When I attended university, I didn’t know what career path I wanted to take. I went to school with the intention of learning for the sake of learning (a foreign concept to many people who viewed higher education as a portal to a specific career path).

When I graduated, I knew I did not want to work in a corporate environment labouring over widgets while the executives of the organization financially benefited from my hard work. So while I didn’t specifically choose a career in fundraising, it was the right fit for me. It allows me to serve the greater good: whether it is bringing the arts to a community, helping people secure an education or teaching people new skills.

Janice: What does philanthropy mean to you? Has your definition changed over time?

Liz: I’m still figuring this one out. We interchange charity with philanthropy, but as we know, not all charity is philanthropic. I would love to have a philosophical discussion on the definition of the word.

Janice: What brings you the most joy in your work?

Liz: There are many things that bring me joy in my work and I would say they all revolve around my value of being a knowledge connector. I get a thrill out of connecting people with information: whether it is as simple as how to fix a formatting issue in a Word document, or enlightening them on the perils of the internet filter bubble.

Janice: Your job focuses on cultivating relationships and supporting others, what do you do to recharge your batteries?

Liz: I have initiated wine/whine sessions with my fundraising friends – a get together with a colleague or two over a glass of wine where we swap success stories, new ideas or challenges in our professional lives.

My most serene moments are outdoors: either skiing down a mountain hearing the swoosh of the snow underneath my skis, at the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore or simply sitting on my balcony listening to the birds sing. These natural symphonies transport me to another place, which makes me truly grateful for the wonder and beauty of nature.

Janice: Research shows that philanthropy and volunteerism are proven ways to increase happiness. How have you experienced this in your work and life?

Liz: Volunteering brings me such joy! Over the last couple of years I have focused my volunteer efforts working with associations whose mandate is to provide professional development opportunities to fundraisers. I get such a kick out of coming up with meaningful and interesting learning opportunities that empower fellow fundraisers to do great things for the organizations they serve.

Janice: Our work in the social profit sector allows us to make a contribution. What is the lasting impact you want to make during your career?

Liz: I feel I should answer this question with a profound and philosophical statement. But truly, I would like my impact to be as follows:

– Making database management cool
– Promoting the work of prospect development (prospect research, prospect management, data analytics, etc)
– Creating great education opportunities for current and future fundraisers

© 2013, Janice Cunning. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this posting if you include my contact information. Please contact me if you wish to reprint any portion of it in any periodical or on a website

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About Janice Cunning

As a certified coach and fundraiser, I am passionate about partnering with people and teams to increase their personal and professional Joy Quota.

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