By Phil Gérard
I am not into sports. Those who know me will definitely agree. I hardly ever watch it on TV nor do I practice any team sport. Once friends of mine convinced me to play Squash. When I finally agreed and they saw me ‘play’ I was never invited again. Something similar happened with golf.
However, around this time every four years – it all changes. The FIFA World Cup is on. Something transforms me into a cheering, screaming, sometimes tear-crying maniac. It’s quite ridiculous. My children will confirm this.
I am sure there are some of you who are thinking “Oh my, even he is talking about soccer these days. Will this World Cup ever end?” There are definitely those who cannot stand it and who don’t get the hype (I feel the same with most other sports or reality TV shows).
But overall, the beautiful game is bringing people together. I just read yesterday that the FIFA World Cup is breaking viewing records world-wide this year. Wherever you go people talk about the games, their favourite teams, and players. Often we learn a bit about people’s heritage that way too.
How will I be making the connection to fundraising you will ask. It is very simple, really. Fundraisers are relationship builders, we want to relate to people, our prospects, and donors. We care about their interests. We want to break the ice and build a relationship. In order to do that we need to find some common ground. I have always found that my German background, my growing up in Europe, my ties to Mexico, my interest in food and travel has always helped me to relate with many people from diverse backgrounds and find something in common to talk about.
That’s why some recruiters (including myself) do not find a BA degree uninteresting. A BA gives you general knowledge about many things, languages, the arts, culture, geography, and so on. It helps us be a generalist and develop a variety of interests.
So maybe use the Cup as a communication starter in the next few weeks. I have found that whenever I start talking about it, even to people I don’t know well, a nice, genuine conversation and a bit of bonding happens.
Just be careful when you mention Spain, Italy, England…