Did you just start a new development position and want to make sure the boss knows you were the best hire? Here are a few ideas, tried and true, that helped me jump the line from the NKOB to “omg, so glad we hired her!”. My first weeks at Mary’s Center I was overwhelmed, so much to learn about the mission, the cultural, what we offered in services—I had printed out notes and placed them all over my office, thank goodness, they came in very helpful. The Gala was only 6 weeks away and we were far from our goal! What did I do? First, I decided we must have some low hanging fruit. So I asked the accounts payable department for a list of vendors that we paid money to. I called the top 10 and asked all of them to sponsor a table of 10, a sponsorship of 4, or at the very least, buy some tickets for the dinner, life is a two way street-if you want the non profit to continue to support your business, then you should consider supporting them back. As I recall, the office supply company didn’t believe they needed to support MC-so we found a company that would. The next step was to find some new support. I had access to a software that gave me names of top execs around the country, I did a search and found 100 high level execs in the District of Columbia and then I emailed each and every one of them information on the gala and the sponsorship deck, I would not leave my office that night until 8 pm so that each of the 100 people received my personal email. In a later blog I will share how one of the responses went, but suffice to say, that strategy brought in 3 new donors totaling $100k. Third approach-pull the report of the last two years attendees and corporate sponsors and call them to invite them back- listen as to why they have not responded yet and make sure they know you are going to take care of them, then follow up, as often as possible, because next year when you reach out, they will remember you were there for them.
The first few weeks to few months at any job can be a roller coast, in a fundraising position, ED’s, Presidents and Boards treat you as if you snap your fingers, the money will arrive. That is not realistic, take your work ethic and put it to good use, you will make your mark, raise money and no longer be the “newbie”.