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Fundraisers – 10 tips for advancing your career

Posted: April 14, 2014

I was asked to facilitate a roundtable discussion last Friday at Fundraising Day in Southern New England. Thought I’d pass along the tips I gathered and shared.

1. Know  yourself

  • What are your passions?
  • What are you really good at?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are you fears/demons?

2. Be really good at your job

  • Embrace results
  • Embrace metrics
  • Learn about your cause
  • Engage in your whole organization

3. Learn all you can about your profession

  • Workshops, conference, webinars, college classes
  • Professional journals e.g. Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly
  • Know the research

4. Create your personal strategic plan

  • Personal and professional vision and goals
  • Strategies and benchmarks


5. Develop your own support network

  • Find a mentor or coach
  • Develop your own kitchen cabinet

6. Earn professional credentials

  • CFRE and ACFRE
  • Graduate Degree e.g. MBA, MPA, MS, PhD

7. Be engaged in the world

  • Read/listen to the news
  • Learn about other topics
  • Volunteer & stay healthy

8. Gain management and leadership skills

  • Ask for more responsibility
  • School yourself

9. Engage with colleagues

  • Join & participate in your professional association, e.g. AFP, PPP, AHP
  • Network, network, network
  • Be a helpful friends

10. Raise your profile

  • Become a trainer, presenter
  • Write – a  book, a blog, tweet

Two books to think about careers  and your future:

The Answer to How is Yes, by Peter Block. Especially the chapter on Bosses.

Career Anchors, Edgar Schein.


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