On Sparks

Today, I was reminded of the spark. You know the spark–that little thrill you get when you do something you’re passionate about, for a cause or a reason or a person. In this case, it was the spark of excitement I get when I work in fundraising and grant writing (if I just lost you, reader, I understand.) It was a reminder that I have a skill set that I carefully cultivated, currently enjoy, and am able to offer to a willing audience at my NGO project.

Just in case I haven’t mentioned the project much before, four of us trainees are volunteering at a local non-profit called CEDEsocial, which focuses on women’s rights, reproductive and sexual health, domestic violence victim assistance and a variety of other related topics. One trainee works directly with the beneficiaries in a safehouse; two girls split time between workshops with children and translating materials in the headquarters; I work in fundraising, marketing and event planning for an upcoming forum on sexual and reproductive rights in Colombian legislation.

These tasks line up perfectly with my skill set and experience: I just finished an internship in fundraising/grant writing and another in policy, following a few odd jobs in marketing and communications. Best of all, they line up with my passion! As mentioned, I get the spark when I get to work with an organization with a great cause and active staff!

Today, I met the fundraising professional and found out that there are all kinds of great opportunities to streamline the donor solitication process, which could make it easier and faster for her to build donor relationships. There are also options to build relationships within the cultural context, which will be fun. Most interestingly, the culture of philanthropy and giving is very different here, so I have a lot to learn and some unique challenges. Sounds fun, right?? Are you feeling the spark yet?

Regardless of your ‘spark’, it’s important to find one (or two or three.) There are all kinds of studies and opinions and debates about finding jobs based on loving the stability or loving the work, but one principle stands: the more you are passionate about the subject matter, the less it feels like work. So go find a spark, and put it to good use!

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2 thoughts on “On Sparks”

  1. Shanna, I love this. You’re doing such a great thing, and added bonus that you’re passionate about it! Your writing is impeccable and I am so enjoying reading your blog. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Jenn, thanks so much for reading! It’s a great experience to learn a new system and culture! Tomorrow we get our site assignments, so stay tuned for some new developments 🙂 Thanks for your support!

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