What I Wish I Knew Then

This past week marked my one year anniversary as a strategy consultant at Blackbaud. The more I engage with clients the more I find myself wishing I knew what I know now when I was on the fundraising staff at a nonprofit. When you work with some of the brightest minds in the industry, you quickly realize that we all have a lot to learn. With that said, I decided I should write a series of blog posts titled “What I Wish I Knew Then” with the hope that the lessons I have learned will make you a better fundraising professional, too.

To kick things off I want to focus on learning outside of your organization. If you are reading this blog, you already have a head start. Pay it forward by sending it to a colleague and encourage them to learn outside of the box as well. There are an endless number of resources available to you once you start looking for them. I follow more than 500 of them on Twitter alone. It is easy to be overwhelmed so I recommend you are strategic in your learning:

Five Things You Can Do To Become a Better Fundraising Professional

  1. Read one thing related to your job a day (news article, blog post, or white paper)
  2. Participate in one webinar a month
  3. Attend one local networking event or conference each quarter
  4. Attend at least one national conference a year
  5. Participate in other fundraising events as often as you can

I can’t stress enough that participating in other fundraising events is the best learning experience anyone at a non-profit can have. I encourage you to register, fundraise, donate and volunteer so that you can have firsthand experience being on the other side. In addition, it is a great way to learn what your peers are doing in the industry. Speaking of learning what your peers are doing, my colleagues at Blackbaud and I will be hosting a variety of opportunities for you to learn and network in 2013.

Save the Date and Join Me at a Conference in 2013:

How will you reach your peer-to-peer and event fundraising goals? Discover how your peers are cracking the code to event, team, and peer-to-peer fundraising success by attending one of our Fundraising Roundtable events in 2013. The series of events will be taking place in Chicago on May 28, Washington DC on June 10, New York City on September 10 and Boston on September 12. Register today at www.fundraisingroundtable.com

Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits is a great place to experience, learn, and network with industry experts and peers. Join 2,000 nonprofit professionals from 900 unique organizations in Washinton DC September 29 – October 1, 2013. http://www.bbconference.com/

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Palo is a senior consultant on Blackbaud’s strategic services team with an emphasis on peer-to-peer fundraising. She brings more than 10 years experience in the event fundraising space enjoys helping nonprofits implement solutions to increase revenue through innovative online fundraising strategies. Prior to joining Blackbaud in April 2012, Nancy worked at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in California and New York where see oversaw the Society’s peer to peer fundraising campaigns, raising more than $30 million during her eight years with the organization. She studied communications and business at the University of San Diego and works remotely from her home office in her 400 square foot apartment in New York City. Connect with Nancy on Twitter at @fundraising101.

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