So.. why am I doing this? First irreverent thoughts…

I did not start out raising money.  In fact I am an expert at spending it.  Personally, professionally, other people’s money… I excel.  And after twenty years working in and around the non-profit sector as an actor, concert promoter, venue manager, volunteer coordinator, education director, curriculum developer, director, teacher…. there’s more…. oh… and most recently, and importantly… Development Director.  I raise money for a living.  And I like it.

I remember, in previous jobs where artistic programming was my focus, that I just needed one of those…  what do they call them… oh…development people… they developed…or something… they waived magic wands and money appeared for my programs.  Right?  I should just hire one of those.  Hmm… I also followed the “I’ll fundraise on Friday method.”  This ensured that I never, ever got around to it.  Grants… they could wait.  Sponsorship.  It just wasn’t a priority.  And worse.  I had no training.

So, when I left a job I loved very much (bad breakup– counseling was required) I decided I needed to learn to raise money.  I had a bunch of rebound jobs following that experience.  I had no idea that your could suffer heart break professionally, but you can.  And there is light on the other side.

Now, many years later, I had this crazy thought.  What if someone just needed a hand to hold while they achieved their development goals.  And why not?

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER!  I AM NO EXPERT.  In fact, some days, I really wonder how I do anything.  Have I mentioned I work full-time and have a three year old?

So, read on, if you dare.  Just know I can provide a hand.  And MAYBE, something that might help.

Step 1.  Do what others do.  Seriously.  Get a book.  Get three.  Oh… read them.

Step 2.  One week class in San Francisco with the Foundation Center.  Seriously.  And that’s when I turned the corner.

Step 3.  End up in charge of raising $900K of a $6 million dollar budget.  Find out the goals are INSANE.  Find out that no matter how hard you try, you are SCREWED.  Leave job.  But not before gaining a million great skills and friends for life.

Step 4:  Do what others do.  Read their blogs.  And stop being afraid.  After all, you are not alone and I have extended a hand.

Step 5:  Get a great job at a non-profit with realistic goals.  Or change how you think about your current position. I’ll post a lot more about this.  But know it can be done.

More soon.  Please leave comments.  I hope to create a small, but crazy community here.  See you on the flip side.  Of something….


2 thoughts on “So.. why am I doing this? First irreverent thoughts…

  1. And then when you have succeeded (or not) in raising all that money for your awesome nonprofit organization, spend even more of your time – 3-year old howling at your knee – writing a blog about it. You SERIOUSLY rock, Shana – GO GIRL! 😉

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