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    • “If I wrote you a check for $10,000, what would you do with the money?”

      Maybe you need to add an extra zero to that number, or take away a zero, but I think it’s important to know the answer to that question and to be able to effectively communicate that answer to prospective donors as appropriate.

      I also think having a board increases your charity’s credibility to donors, as well as (in theory) increasing the number of people doing fundraising.

    • I hear a bit of panic in your “voice,” which is probably due to the fast approach of the end of the year, so I will forego laying the groundwork (which, honestly, is essential).

      Spend a day getting up-to-speed regarding tax incentives for donors. You need to be grateful for the friends and family, of course (they offer a lot more than just monetary support), but at this time of year, your targets need to be big-money donors and you need to be able to speak their language. Just having a good idea and good intentions often signals to big donors that there is nothing solid to support. However, if you can appeal to their business acumen while also making them seem selfless and generous (ha), you may have a fighting chance to get their support.

      In most probability, you will be watching from the sidelines this year, but remember what you see and learn for next year. The effective development officers have been working toward this end-of-year “shakedown” for many months prospecting and developing relationships. (Remember, people give money to people, not to ideas. Grants are given to ideas.)

      As the Development Director, you are the face of the organization for the big money. All the relationships funnel through you and you have to have a tight handle on how things are framed for those prospective donors. You arrange special experiences, facilitate handshakes with board members and founders, coordinate with staff who are overseeing special projects that will attract the interest of monied individuals, and guide the board in creating an upper eschelon of affiliation (which board members also belong to, since they are the core of your high-value donors).

      That is just a glimpse of what your job is. Hopefully, the organization has a mission statement, an organization, and a vision that supports all your efforts.

      You are correct, Facebook is not the way to build strong donor support.