Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, the Newbie Fundraiser

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 at 9:51 am


Coming in to a new role as part of a fund development team I was nervous, excited and unsure of what to expect.  Would I have to beg for money in that grim, Dickensian, Oliver Twist way? “Please sir, can I have s’more?”  Would I always have my hand out? Would I be ok with that?  Starting any new job is nerve wrecking, but all this uncertainty came in the shadow of a bleak article published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy on January 13th , 2013 . The article discussed the results of a national survey of the fund development sector.  The study did not fill me with warm fuzzy feelings for my new job in fund development.  Instead, the study goes on to suggest that half of fundraisers working today are miserable in their jobs, will quit within two years and forty per cent will leave fundraising altogether.  This did not give me the reassurance I wanted.  How will I survive?


Well I will share with YOU how I am surviving, and how YOU can survive too.  YOU need to work for an organization with a well developed Culture of Philanthropy.  And the Alzheimer Society of NS has certainly worked at developing theirs.  This culture has a tendency to remove the bleak shadows and chase away those uncertainties.  When I look around at my coworkers I do not see misery on their faces.  Are we the exception to this survey?  I work in a place where I feel I am wanted, respected and encouraged to share my opinions, no matter how naïve they may be, and where it’s ok to be wrong sometimes.


YOU can be miserable if YOU want in any job, but I choose a different way.  I look at the people we are impacting and I am inspired, motivated and humbled.  The funds we raise help people in need and go toward research.  This is important stuff people.  I have quickly realized that working in fund development isn’t always about soliciting.  It’s also about making connections and sharing stories.


And that is how I will be the exception to that survey.

  1. […] every six weeks with staff from the department, focused solely on them.  Dawn wrote about it before, fundraising staff are not happy with their environment. As the Director of the Fund Development […]

  2. […] has written about it before: the average time a fundraiser spends at a job is less than two years. That’s barely enough time […]

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