This month’s Featured Fundraiser is James Tobias. If you ever would like to nominate someone for Feature Fundraiser just send me an email. – Jason
What kind of fundraising do you do and who do you do it for?
I work as the assistant director of development for L’Arche USA. L’Arche specializes in providing care to adults with developmental and intellectual disorders. L’Arche homes are found throughout the world. There are 16 homes and 3 emerging communities here in the US. My primary responsibilities are with annual giving, stewardship and data management but I also manage social media, HTML design, communication pieces, board management, grants and some major gift prospects.
What keeps you going? Why do you keep working in development?
I love development work. I have been doing it for almost 10 years now and it is always dynamic. I enjoy new challenges and changes and development work is always in flux. I also have been blessed to work for non profits whose work I believe in, which makes the job that much more rewarding.
What tips/advice do you have to other fundraisers in your field?
Embrace change and new ideas. I hear often of how many organizations resist changing or tweaking operations just because it isn’t the way they have done it in the past. In this environment you have to be willing to take a chance and keep up. My only caveats are not to make too many changes at once, otherwise you don’t know which was successful and give a new idea time to be successful. Often new ideas are too quickly dismissed without seeing the whole process to the end.
What is the most frustrating or difficult thing about fund development?
In my current job there is little budget for acquisitions so it has been a challenge to find creative but low cost ways to find new donors.
Do you have any memorable donor visits or solicitations that you’d like to share?
Donors can be anywhere! I once was discussing a new program with a friend in a coffee shop. A man overheard the conversation and asked me to send him more information on the program. I did and he gave a very nice gift.