#63 | Where do fundraising professionals go to sharpen their saw?


I try to have meaningful conversations ahead of time with fundraisers in the places where I will be speaking. These conversations ensure I have a sense of where I’m going and better understand who has graciously afforded me a platform to speak about our maturing profession. This week I had the opportunity to connect with Suzanne Smith for a few minutes to talk about her involvement with Women in Development of Central Massachusetts and to hear her thoughts about why it’s important to be a part of a like-minded group who share a similar professional journey. Speaking for myself, I can recall many times in my fundraising career where my network of colleagues were my go-to source for encouragement and advice.

Fundraising is certainly one of those career paths where we must take the time to, as Susanne says, strengthen our resolve. We often encounter boards and bosses that frankly have no idea how fundraising really works; and our colleagues, who are admirably carrying out the mission, often treat those of us in the fundraising department like an awkward stepchild. For Suzanne, and I suspect many of her colleagues who I will have the pleasure of meeting in two weeks, Women in Development of Central Massachusetts has become a gathering place to sharpen their saws. Instead of relying on a dull blade that only makes our already difficult job even harder, fundraisers need a place to convene, listen to one another, learn new skills and press on.

Interested in joining us for the next stop on the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow?

Here’s some feedback from those who attended our seminar in Toronto last month.

“I haven’t enjoyed a fundraising workshop as much as yours in many, many years!” — Maryann Kerr, CEO, The Medalist Group, Toronto, 2019

“Probably one of the best days of professional development I've experienced.” — Jack Silverstein, VP, Development at National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, Ottawa, 2019

“I found the seminar fun, instructive, affirming and educational.” — Sue Ellen English, National Director, Development, Prison Fellowship Canada

If you're interested in joining us at an upcoming stop on the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow, it's it important to know that this is not the typical “Tips and Tricks” experience we've grown accustom to. Instead, we're going to confront the real reasons for why most fundraising strategies are designed to fail, challenge everyone’s assumptions about how fundraising really works, and ensure that fundraising professionals know how to be recognized and admired for meaningful work. Anyone who isn’t thinking more critically about the fundraising profession when they leave wasn’t paying attention.

For more information, go to lewisfundraising.com


Jason Lewis