When I tell people I'm a fundraiser, the response generally goes something like this:
"Oh! So you get to wine and dine rich people?"
Not exactly. I'll come back to this.
But folks are hitting on something very accurate: Carefully planned special events have an important place in fundraising. Whether it's a dinner for eight at the board president's house or a silent auction, such events bring donors closer to the organization they support so generously. Donors get to speak with the researchers whose life-saving work they fund. They meet other philanthropists who are as committed to the cause as they are. They hear from individuals whose lives have been profoundly changed because of the programs the nonprofit provides.
Special events are, well, special! But they're just a piece of the fundraising pie.
For example, my primary expertise is in corporate and foundation relations (C&F). In this realm, I work alongside nonprofit leaders and staff to identify and articulate their most important funding needs. Then, I seek out companies and foundations whose grant-making interests align with my client's work, and figure out how to get the client and the funder to connect. In a nutshell, I'm Yente.
There are so many other interesting areas of fundraising, and there's sooo much more I could say about C&F. And I will. For now, just remember that fundraising is, for the most part, schmoozeless!