Here's What You Missed – Lessons from a Self-Described Hustler

Deanna Singh presenting next to a projection screenFinding yourself, your passion, and your purpose

January 2019 Educational Luncheon

Deanna Singh enters every room with an impressive resume, built through a mix of intention and serendipity. She is charismatic and engaging as well as down-to-earth and grounded by her family. On Thursday, January 24, Deanna shared her life-to-date experiences and perspectives with approximately 60 attendees at a luncheon hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, WI.

According to Deanna, people who fail to live in their purpose lack courage, curiosity, resiliency, and initiative. She also validated the value of failure as a learning and growth opportunity in the presence of vulnerability, something we may sometimes struggle to embrace in the moment but are likely to appreciate in reflection.

Deanna shared action steps for tackling what might otherwise seem unachievable as we pursue our purpose with passion, and find ourselves in the process:

  • Write your purpose statement. When you move from thinking about your purpose to living in your purpose, it reflects who you are at your core – and how you want others to know you.
  • Make a simple plan. Identify the top 3 tasks, tackle them, repeat.
  • Commit time. Dedicate at least 15 minutes to your plan each day and you’ll make progress almost immediately.
  • Draft a needs-based budget. And then stick to it – or alter it (one way or the other) as your plan evolves.

Deanna closed by sharing a quote from Maya Angelou, “Nothing will work unless you do.” While the potential audience for her message is universal and not specific to fundraisers, Deanna’s words ring true for our profession. Rarely are our goals met and budgets satisfied by sitting back and doing nothing. While we are very good at developing plans, how often does the process start with an identified purpose that is not limited to a fundraising goal? If we take Deanna’s advice and infuse purpose into our development plans, our approach may shift. In fact, our enthusiasm may be contagious and embraced by those we need to achieve success for those we serve.

For moreinformation:

Have a topic idea for future professional development opportunities?  Contact Julie Cordero from the AFPSEWI Education Committee at