Everyone has influence of some kind whether it is over your friends and family or over business and community leaders. The longer you work in your community the more people that you have an opportunity to meet and get to know. As you begin to build your reputation and build your relationship with these people, you will find that all of a sudden you start to have some influence with them.
As a junior staff member I did not understand that. This message is largely for junior staffers and those newer to development work. I was impressed and amazed at the generosity and kindness of board and community members with which I worked. As I’ve done more volunteering and worked in different organizations I’ve started to realize that many of these individuals are people that I can call on if I have a question or if I need help.
Regardless of your position at your organization, you have communities of people in your life that are watching you and eager to participate in something meaningful that you are doing. Don’t take those relationships for granted. Stay in touch, see if you can find ways to be of help in their lives. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help or ask if they would be interested in being involved in projects that you are doing. People love to help people and if you build good relationships, people will like to help you. Be cautious as to how often and in what ways you ask – but don’t be afraid to ask.