My Life as a Muggle

This year, my husband and I decided to be more strategic about our charitable giving.  I’m surprised that it took this long, as we are people who love lists and a good chart.  And so we have our goal amount for total giving, a handful of organizations we know we will support, and then a wildcard pot for the things that just come up.

As we go through this together, it has become clear to me that he thinks like a donor and I think like a fundraiser who gave a gift.  As a relatively new/young fundraiser, sometimes I recklessly bend the rules and sometimes I go Grumpy Cat at the mere suggestion of a non-standard letter format.  I have realized that, in going through this process, it would be best to not over-analyze every single letter and email we receive, but to just allow my natural reactions to lead the decision making.

Today I was excited to come across the  Giving with Purpose course.  So, one hour a week for six weeks, I am just going to be a regular person learning how to better invest in my community.

The Art of Herding Cats

I am very excited for the arrival of our VISTA Volunteer Coordinator in early August.  However, I must admit that I am a little anxious to supervise someone in this role, given that I have never focused on volunteer coordination outside of a specific event or board committees.  While a lot of what goes into donor stewardship can apply to long-term volunteer engagement, I do want to set the VISTA up for a successful year in which she gains marketable experience.  And so I am asking you all to send me any tips, tricks, or resources that you have found helpful and I will be sure to share them.  Below are a few things I am planning to pass on to her.

96 Ways to Thank Your Donors – Not exactly rocket science, but a reminder that a creative “thank you” goes a long way.  And in general, Volunteer Match will go into our weekly reading rotation.

Idealist’s Volunteer Management Resource Center, because isn’t Idealist ALWAYS awesome and helpful?

A Volunteer Management guide from System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES).  This will be directly relevant to our volunteers, but the principles are certainly transferable.

And, of course I hope to introduce her to those of you who are already Kick Ass Volunteer Managers.  If you are able to help out a new colleague, send me an email!