Photo: embers

Finding TPF Values in New Places, and Stoking a Fire Along the Way

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Connor LaGrange, TPF Fellow 2021/22
Since the beginning of time, fire has been instrumental in the advancement of humanity. From keeping us warm to cooking our food to refining metals for weapons, fire has played a role in developing the world.

Sometimes, fire can even exist in us. When we interact with other passionaries, they have a unique ability to stoke the embers of our passion and help to generate flames.

As a Fellow with The Patterson Foundation (TPF), one gets the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of individuals. From TPFers to business and political leaders to other folks in the philanthropic sector, fellows learn in special places.

I recently attended The Focus Group (TFG)-Major Donor Symposium (MDS). The Focus Group serves as a fundraising consultancy to nonprofits around the country. From universities to charitable trusts, nonprofits, and everything in between, TFG exists to help steward donors well. The MDS convenes client organizations, CEOs, development teams, and even prospective donors.

One thing that helps to kindle our passion fires is interacting with individuals and groups not connected with TPFand recognizing TPF values in their organizations.

While at MDS, I had the opportunity to converse with individuals who manifested commitment and persistence. One group I spoke with had been working to ascertain an unbelievably lofty goal. Their reasoning was simple; if you are committed to the cause, why not shoot for the moon. What a beautiful demonstration of understanding the life-long journey that certain projects/obstacles/initiatives can take.

Through active listening, people can sense your true interest in who they are. From this, we can call out the brilliance of what an organization is doing and point out how their passionary fires are illuminating issues. This, to me, is a way to build deep, lasting connective tissue with others. We find ourselves living in a very contentious and polarized time. One way we can potentially find ourselves coming to shared aspirations is to validate the work others are doing. This may help to add fuel to their fires.

Not every TPF technique may be directly applicable to others, but what is applicable is the mentality of sharing cookies with others. At TPF, we learn each individual and organization has cookies (talents, resources, etc.) which they can share to help strengthen communities.

The Focus Group left me feeling invigorated, inspired, and ready. Interacting with people determined to change the world lit a fire in my soul.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.