Finding Training for New Development Staff

Dear Kim,

I am a long time co-director of a women’s health center. My new position in the organization is Development Director. We are ‘growing our own’ development director as you said in one of your recent letters, and I am it! I am searching for training opportunities to get me started. I have an eye out for your future workshops and wonder what training would you suggest I take to get started?
—Eager but Ignorant

Dear Eager,

There are a lot of training opportunities, and I would suggest asking other nonprofits in your community which trainings they have found most useful. Some ideas:

  • The Fund Raising School at the Center on Philanthropy at the University of Indiana, which has offers courses in a number of different cities around the country.
  • In many counties, there is a Council of Agencies or a Volunteer Center which will offer one day seminars.
  • The Foundation Center has a number of fine courses in their main locations of San Francisco, Atlanta, Cleveland and New York.
  • Another option is to put together a dozen other agencies which are similar to yours in size and politics and hire a fundraising trainer for a one or two day course. You can all split the fee and expenses and get something more tailored to your situation.
  • Finally, since you have been the co-director, you may simply want to hire a coach, who will help you plan a fundraising strategy and then be available a couple hours a week or month to talk with you about it.

Good luck and welcome to our profession!