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November 20, 2014

The Hunt for Meaning

The Hunt for Meaning


In many parts of the world, the approach of winter signals the beginning of hunting season. Throughout recorded history, symphonies, paintings, and poems have been inspired by that pursuit, spanning centuries and continents. Works of art portray the hunt as thrilling, beautiful, noble, and unpredictable in a way universally relatable, even to those who have never hunted. We all know the feeling of searching for that elusive something that makes our lives more meaningful.


Through development work, we have the tremendous honor of assisting donors as they “hunt” for philanthropic opportunities that will fulfill their deeply held yearning to make a difference. Truly meaningful philanthropy is possible only when a donor’s life experiences drive his or her contributions. We can help by uncovering donor passions that connect with organizational priorities.


But discovering donors’ passions isn’t always easy. It requires a foundation of trust, and oftentimes a great deal of exploration and discovery. Sometimes donors themselves haven’t yet recognized what sort of contribution will be most meaningful to them. When we focus on what a donor wants to accomplish—the ultimate outcome—we set the stage for “development magic”: when a donor’s passions and a philanthropic opportunity are a perfect fit.


This month as you interact with donors, strive to facilitate passion-based contributions. Not only are these most meaningful for donors, but they tend to be transformational for the organization, as well.


Finding the right philanthropic opportunity is a beautiful thing—and we have a vital role in making it possible.



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