As I See It | Barbara Shelton, CFRE | Vice President

Changing Views

Every day for the past six-weeks, I watch and listen closely as my neighbors walk, run, and even ride majestic horses down the street. Cars speed by. The view out my new office window (a.k.a. the front bedroom) brings a new world of thought, along with some Texas beauty and a whole lot of inspiration. All the while, I—like you—seek and create new information.

Chart your change journey

Let’s face it, with the current state-of-affairs who isn’t overwhelmed with non-stop breaking news. At the same time, our inboxes flood with intriguing or lackluster presentations about the power of creating a new you, or ways to reach peak productivity in quarantine.

The subtext of these how-to guides seems to say we weren’t doing things right in the first place. Oh my. The truth of the matter is that fundraising leaders know themselves and their craft well. We intuitively have adapted in these uncharted waters. Fundraisers don’t need to “reinvent your work style in just 5 steps.” Just keep up the good work, leverage your own style, and you can chart your change journey into an actionable guide for yourself and others.

Here’s my guide of inquiry to keep it real:
  • What I value most…For me, it’s the new view out my window; allowing a deliberative workspace to create and a new mindfulness of the beauty around me.
  • My preferred communication style is…As a closet introvert, I relish quiet. But when required I seek a mix of sharing and then getting to the heart of the matter.
  • What gives me the greatest joy at work…Helping others succeed and leveraging talents of a team.
  • What gets in the way of my own success…Overthinking; the mind can take us where we’ve never been before.
  • If I haven’t delivered on the expectation you have of me…Step back from the moment, get a reality check, seek understanding and adjust accordingly.

I believe deeply in a world of connection, the power of reflection, and that the unique circumstances we’re in today will make us better. There isn’t a guide that fits all users. Consider these statements, create your own guide or even better, ask your donors what they think– it just may change your view.


About the Author

Barbara is a veteran fundraiser and nonprofit executive with 35 years of experience working with a wide variety of nonprofit and faith-based organizations, specializing in human services. During her career, Barbara has led fundraising and communications efforts for organizations such as ACH Child and Family Services, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, the Diocese of Birmingham (Alabama), the Diocese of Fort Worth and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dallas. She also founded and operated a full-service philanthropic fundraising, marketing and consulting practice for more than a decade. Barbara is a member of Leadership Fort Worth’s Leadership Class of 2014 and was honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fort Worth Metro Chapter in 2019 as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser.

Have questions for Barbara? Email her at

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