Agency or Organization? Tips From Someone Who Made the Move
Without rehashing all the details, suffice to say ASPCA had a good run for the 10 years I was there. We took a sleepy fundraising program and effected a 500 percent growth, and added functions and programs like monthly giving. The coolest moment in my life was when "Saturday Night Live" did a spoof of our Sarah McLachlan spot. I felt I'd made it to that place where you're ingrained in American culture. But as is life, all good things come to an end.
One of the things I am most proud of is that I hired myself out of a job. I targeted and grew a team of people who knew way more than I did about whatever their specialties were. They were and are one of the best marketing and communications teams around, and I couldn't have let "my heart" go to anything less.
In looking to my next move, the opportunity that CDR Fundraising Group presented to me was a perfect fit. It's a big move for an organization person to go to the consulting side. The perceptions of both sides are joked about and ingrained in how we talk to ourselves as an industry, but I never let myself feel I was going to "the dark side." I saw the opportunity with our clients like Toys for Tots, MADD and Wounded Warrior Project to be a chance to partner with some fantastic organizations and blue-chip brands, and offer whatever I could from my learnings (and failings) at ASPCA to make a difference. I'm happy to say that is exactly what's happened.
I don't know what our clients think (and if any of you are reading this — don't tell me if it's bad news), but I hope they feel that connection and couldn't be prouder to be part of something bigger.
So, I'm a fundraiser having a mid-life crisis. And that's perfectly fine with me.
I am taking time to look around, lift my head and find REAL people who really want to change the world. And people smart enough to do it. Join me in this fun journey. I have no idea where we will end up - and that is the beauty of it. I'm nonprofit passionate, a hopeful world changer, and always ready to share what I know, learn what I don't, admit when I can't, and ask the hard questions.
While you're looking around for other areas of inspiration, check out The Moth Project at themoth.org (the podcasts are AMAZING), TED talks (doesn't matter which ones - find topics that interest you) and Volunteer Voices (again - love the podcast) written by volunteers from the Peace Corps. Don't see the immediate connection to being a better fundraiser? Just listen, you'll hear the message ...