Last month I hosted a panel for AFP’s New York City chapter on creating a culture of philanthropy throughout your office: way beyond the development staff to include the CEO, finance office, program staff and facilities workers. Everybody.
The panelists were:
Terry Billie, Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations for Goodwill Industries of NY and NJ
Matthew Bregman, VP for Development at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Brian Saber, founder and president of Asking Matters
We had a lively, fun conversation over breakfast and there were lots of excellent questions from the audience!
Here are takeaways from our hour-long discussion:
— it has to start with the CEO; if your CEO embraces fundraising, the enthusiasm will trickle down
— each person in your organization can contribute to a positive fundraising culture; it can be as simple as a smile and “hello”
— everyone your staff meets should be treated as a donor; either they are or they could be
— over in finance, reports to funders should be seen as promoting fundraising, not as favors that help development staff
— your business and program departments should accept training from fundraising staff about simple ways to create a fundraising culture
— everybody else can accept training on how their jobs support fundraising
— it starts with hiring; consensus was that an enthusiastic attitude can make up for a lack of non-critical skills
— if you you’re constantly fighting to get fundraising recognized, it may not be the right place for you
Many thanks to the leaders of AFP NYC. A special shout to Holly Koenig, who first tapped me for the program.
Here’s the video!