The Five Stages of Fund Raising
[Seriously] I want to be clear that this my intention in writing this blog post is not to diminish the true suffering and difficult process that faces people working through difficult personal situations, who are actually experiencing emotions and feelings of grief. The fact is that one of the main missions of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to help people who face the very real physical and emotional challenges of fighting for their lives. This post is meant to be a somewhat flip and sarcastic view of the challenges of fundraising, which in no way rival the real emotional challenges that many people encounter in their lives. My hope is that this blog post gives you, the reader, a reason to laugh with me, for fellow-fundraisers to feel a common bond with me and maybe to elicit some pity from some kind souls who want to assist me (and more importantly, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) in “my time of need.” With that being said, on with my post.
“The Five Stages of Grief” is a hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. Kübler-Ross outlines the five stages as follows:
Over the past two months I have moved through the gamut of these emotions (backwards and forwards) as they relate to my fundraising for the Westchester Triathlon. For a little insight into my experience, read on:
Denial – “I don’t need to worry about fundraising. People understand the importance of the work that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society does. So many people know adults and children impacted by this form of cancer, so raising funds for such an outstanding and well run charity will be no problem.”
Anger – “I can’t believe that people aren’t begging to donate, ignoring the fact that there are a ton of other VERY worthwhile charities that people donate to, not to mention the current state of the economy, other financial responsibilities that people have, other very important commitments that people have and that the fact that I am not the center of everyone else’s universe… but ignoring those vital fact, I can’t believe…”
Depression – “I am slow at bicycling up hills and slow at raising funds for LLS… I am choking and sputtering when I swim… and so are my fundraising efforts… [Sob, sob, sob].”
Acceptance – “I know I have a challenge in front of me, but it’s one that is worthwhile. I finished the Westchester Triathlon last year and I am going to do it again this year. I raised almost $3,300 for LLS last year and I’ll do it again this year. It may be a challenge, but it’s mine and I am going to do it.”
Right now, I am somewhere between “Bargaining” and “Depression”… so let me know if you want me to sing and dance for you, and if not, at least pass me a tissue.