If for Fundraisers

As children we are encouraged to explore our imagination. As adults, when the busyness of life sets in, it's easy to forget about exercising our imagination. Leaving our imagination behind at a certain age is antithetical to prospering as an adult. There's power in a vivid imagination. The difference between a vivid and a dull imagination can mean the difference between an okay fundraiser and a genius one.

Constantin Stanislavski, renowned actor, director, and teacher, wrote about the extraordinary power of "if." He called it the Magic If. The Magic If is a way to fire up your imagination. Stanislavski put it like this, "[The Magic If] arouses an inner and real activity, an instantaneous inner stimulus, adds a whole series of contingencies based on your own experience in life, and you will see how easy it will be for you sincerely to believe in the possibility of what you are called upon to do."

Just like actors allow the Magic If to lead them to specific action onstage and set, when you allow it, imagination can lead you to clear action in your fundraising work, in your asks. Magic If ignites the imagination and when we focus our imagination on generating desired outcomes, the potential for success for all involved in an ask are endless.

Some folks have very active imaginations throughout their lives. Others may have to work at re-engaging with their imagination as adults. Try the steps below to reconnect with the power of your imagination.

  1. Observe your surroundings. What is happening around you? Who is around you? Are you in direct contact with them or observing from afar? If observing people, be inconspicuous. They don't need to know you're observing them.
  2. Imagine what is taking place. For the people around you, what is their relationship? How are they connected? What are they trying to accomplish or do? Let your mind wander and wonder.
  3. Create short stories for the people and things around you. Create multiple stories with different plot points and endings.
  4. BONUS TIP: Write down what you observed and the stories you created from pure imagination.

Working with your imagination in this way will lead to more resourcefulness, more creativity in your work as a fundraiser. It will help you suss out multiple outcomes as experiences unfold with your prospects and others involved in the fundraising process.

By accessing your imagination via the Magic If you will become a better adapter, staying malleable in all types of situations and scenarios. Whether you're in the board room or the living room, adaptability and malleability are always valuable traits.

All this goodness from one small little word - If.

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