Fundraising is about relationships. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that, I wouldn’t need to work and I could make a major gift to my favorite organization today.
The thing is – it’s true. Not only do fundraisers serve as the conduits between donors and the institutions that they serve, but we also work collaboratively within our offices, with program staff, and with others in our industry.
One of the reasons I love my job is that it has given me these amazing relationships.
You get to know donors on a personal level and even when you leave one organization, sometimes you remain friends with them. Your donors have incredible stories and you have a platform to discover those stories and share them. Many donors, especially board members, have become personal mentors to me.
We are also lucky to work in an industry that loves to share best practices and business information. Especially in higher education fundraising, we aren’t often competing for the same donors. That means we can help each other out substantially. Many of my closest friends are also fundraisers and we frequently solicit advice and tips from each other.
Not all donors and co-workers become your friends. But, it’s a wonderful career that is focused on friendship. I would put up with a good deal of frustration to get the collection of amazing donors I’ve met and colleagues that I’ve relied on over the years.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.