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10 Tips And Tricks For Fundraisers Kicking Off The New Year In A New Role

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Happy New Year! As we embark on a fresh chapter, I’m excited to share some valuable insights for those of you who have recently stepped into new roles within the nonprofit fundraising sector. The initial 30 days can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but with the right priorities, you can set the stage for a successful and fulfilling journey at your new organization.

1. Learn their systems and subscriptions

Familiarize yourself with the tools and platforms your organization utilizes for fundraising. Understanding the systems early on will streamline your work and boost your efficiency.

Your new organization may use Slack, Basecamp, and Salesforce, while your experience lies with Teams,, and Bloomerang. If you run into this situation, don’t be afraid to ask for help from team members or utilize YouTube or LinkedIn Learning to familiarize yourself with these new systems.

2. Memorize board members, top partners, and primary contacts

Being able to reference key individuals by their first names fosters a sense of camaraderie within the development team. Take the time to memorize the names of board members, top partners, and primary contacts at partner institutions.

3. Watch video content

Give your brain a break from the textual overload by watching video content produced by your organization. This will not only provide a different perspective but also enhance your understanding of the organization’s mission and goals.

4. Meet with all of the teams

Schedule team meetings and one-on-ones to connect with your colleagues. Understanding the dynamics and responsibilities of the communications, finance, and programming teams will facilitate smoother collaboration in the future.

5. Set up recurring check-ins (for managers)

If you are a manager, establish recurring check-ins with your direct reports. Consistent communication is key to building a strong team and ensuring everyone is aligned with the organization’s objectives.

6. Familiarize yourself with giving reports in the nonprofit CRM

Get acquainted with the giving reports in your organization’s nonprofit Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Understanding donor patterns and contributions is vital for strategic fundraising planning.

7. Review email marketing content

Request access to review email marketing content. This will provide valuable insights into the communication donors receive, helping you align your outreach efforts with the organization’s messaging.

8. Master new acronyms

Nonprofit organizations often have a plethora of acronyms. Write them down and create a quick reference guide to avoid any confusion as you navigate through your daily tasks.

9. Meet with board members

After settling in for a few weeks, schedule meetings with board members to gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives and expectations. Building these relationships early on can be instrumental in your long-term success.

10. Start reaching out to donors (for frontline fundraisers)

Don’t wait to dive into frontline fundraising. Start reaching out to donors, expressing gratitude for their support, and creating connections. Building rapport early on will set a positive tone for your interactions.

Remember, the first month is about laying the foundation for success. Embrace the learning curve, stay positive, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your experienced colleagues. You’ve got this!

Wishing you a fantastic start to the new year!

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