Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

How We Tell Our Story Matters: #2018FPN Takeaways

April 06, 2018

The theme at the 2018 Florida Philanthropic Network Summit was Driven, with the question often posed of “What Drives You?” When I first heard folks answering this question, I was not sure what my answer would be. But, it was truly inspiring to hear others answer this question as well as contemplate my own answer. I believe I am driven by the promotion of philanthropy in my community, and after attending the summit, I know I am driven to do it better. Specifically, the following three items:

How We Tell Our Story Matters  

My favorite statement from Ann Christiano’s presentation during lunch was that vulnerability unlocks relationships. My work is all about relationships. I am now driven to deepen the storytelling of my organization to a more relatable and vulnerable level and consider how I can connect more as a person than as the individual just doing my job. This is not easy, by the way. I would like to think I am a subject matter expert in my field, but that is not enough to really connect with people. It takes a deeper understanding of who the audience is and how we can identify with them in order for them to feel included, valuable and wanted.

A Collaborative Culture Matters

We all know the workplace can have its challenges! Understanding that what drives you, can and often is different than that of your colleagues. The insight I gained into how this information effects job fit, manager impact, employee needs, culture and collaboration, team dynamics and the importance of self-awareness in the work place is invaluable. The Predictive Index was the particular tool presented here, but we have used a similar evaluation in our office that has been extremely helpful in understanding how we interact with each other and was a great tool to reaffirm that we are all in the job we should be in! For example, mine states that I have the ability to welcome a variety of individuals in my life. Well, I work in Donor Services- so perfect match! Having this insight can also be as simple as my co-workers understanding that I perform at an optimal level later in the day, so they know not to bring me new ideas first thing in the morning! And I know that I am more efficient and better manage my priorities later in the day.

Keeping Your Eyes Open Matters

Oh my! Risk in our organization should be a definite driver and we have to open our eyes to recognize and address it. It is not the rewarding part of our work, so can often fall to the bottom of the priority list, but it needs to get done! Not only does this help us address threats before they occur, but it can also help our organization address any capacity issues we may have. We will do a better job eliminating the uncertainty that risk can bring and are very grateful for the reminder!

Overall, there were so many educational and networking opportunities presented that I am grateful to have experienced. Sharing with and learning from my contemporaries can never be replicated and our field is better thanks to events such as the FPN Summit.

Nan O'Kelley is the Director of Donor Relations at Community Foundation of North Florida and a recipient of the #2018FPN Emerging Leaders scholarship. #2018FPN Emerging Leaders Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of Central Florida Foundation and Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
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