Odds and Endings

I'm looking at my to-do list trying to figure out what to do next. Everything on there is a hodgepodge of jobs, none of which relate to each other. For example "IMS Sponsorships" is under "Make packets" and above "Scholar Newsletter." Big picture, they connect sure (all with the raising of the money), but individually they don't go together.

This is currently making it hard for me to figure out where to start. Yesterday I did all the jobs that had definitive ends. That was nice; makes me feel like I'm making progress. The jobs left on the list have ends (eventually) but they seem farther off or harder to get to or just nebulous. They are also less fun.

(And the weather for the third straight day is gorgeous outside. And I'm in the Blue Office with the hyperactive air conditioner that is determined to freeze me out of here.)

None of the things on the list is from the fundraising class I took a few weeks ago. I really want to get to that stuff, but the in-between stuff is making it hard to get to those big picture items.

Enough whining. Letter writing. I can get that job done.


The Blue Office

This is my corner of the Blue Office.
I was testing the digital camera and my desk made a good test subject.

Luckily at this angle, you can't see all the piles of papers and folders behind the books. Trust me, they are mounting.

The big piece of chart paper (the E-Tapestry To Do List) also has a few more items on it. This whole list is a blog entry for another time.


Indianapolis Jeopardy

This morning's category: Odd Happenings for Bethany

In the mail yesterday, Bethany opened a letter from a foundation funding one-half of a new Scholar Specialist position.

A. What is $25,000?

Circle City residents were rocked awake at 5:39 a.m. by this geologic occurrence. Bethany thought first it was a thunderstorm, then realized later that thunderstorms don't make the lamp on her nightstand rattle.

A: What is a 5.4 magnitude earthquake?


Class Photo

Here is the class photo from the fundraising school, as promised.

I'm in this photo.... really.


Now I know what I'm doing

I've returned to the blue office today after a week in fundraising school.

From school, I now have a four-inch thick binder of materials, worksheets, reference guides, bibliographies and other helpful tools. Basically, this binder means I now know what I'm doing. (cough. cough.)

Trying to explain everything I learned last week would take up way too much time on Blogger and be a post so long that nobody would want to read it. Suffice it to say, I learned lots. Tons, even.

I keep reminding myself that I don't have to implement everything I learned last week today. I don't even have to have it all done by the end of the week. Much of this will take time. Much of it also will need the OK of the executive director and board chairman to implement.

While it's a lot to do, it's also invigorating, learning the best practices of the industry. It was also nice to be in a class for a week with many other folks who are new to the fundraising profession. It was a definitely a place where there were no dumb questions.

There was a group picture taken, but so far, the zip file of it isn't cooperating.

If/when I can get it in a usable form , I will post it.


Back in the classroom again

Next week I'm trading the blue office for a conference room/classroom to attend a week-long class through the Fundraising School at IU's Center for Philanthropy.

Through a wonderful scholarship (thank you Third Millennium Initiative), I get to go to "Principles and Techniques of Fundraising" and learn how to do what I've been attempting to do for the last 5 months.

My executive director has taken this class in the past and says it's a great crash course on many aspects of fundraising from grants to major gifts to capital projects and planned giving.

Having not had any official schooling on fundraising (save for a few conference sessions) this is a cool opportunity.

It's going to likely be a long week. I haven't sat in a classroom literally all day since, oh, high school. Nevertheless, I've got my pre-class reading to do this weekend and I am armed with highlighters and pens, etc for note-taking.

I'll be back to blogging sometime the week of April 14 and let you know how it went.


Fundraising comes to Hogwarts

I'm doing online training modules for a new donor database system we have and they keep working with mock donor files in the examples.

This afternoon, the mock file was for one "George Weasley."

It was definitely a nice chuckle moment after quite awhile of sitting here watching online training.

I'm sort of surprised they haven't used all sort of fictional personas for their examples... maybe the fundraising training should be redone to include Harry Potter, Mr. Darcy, or Jay Gatsby as top donors?

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