Category Archives: Resources

Webinars: April 25-May 9, 2013

webinarsI love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)

Click here for this week’s listing.

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Magic Monday EXTRA: 7th Inning Stretch

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

If I am working predominantly in the office on any given day, I often find myself looking up at the time to find that it is mid-afternoon and I have been sitting in pretty much the same position for several hours. Because my work environment is self-structured, I sometimes forget to take breaks and lunch if I am in the zone. Fortunately, on the days when I have off-site meetings or donor visits, I get a little more activity.

If you find yourself working diligently at your desk, taking the time to move and stretch would be good for you. The detriments of “sitting disease” can’t be overstated. Moving and refocusing is great for consistent productivity and helps prevent fatigue. The next time you need a short movement break, check out this video about stretches you can do in your office. (You can also read the accompanying article here.)

Do you have any favorite stretches that help you get through the day?

Webinars: April 11-April 25, 2013

webinarsI love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)

Click here for this week’s listing.

10 Tips: Dress for Development Success

yellow jacket polka dot skirt

Classy and stylish work outfit. Thanks to thimble be quick for the image. Check out the rest of the outfits on their page (sorry guys, just ladies on this one).

I can remember distinctly the handful of epiphanies that I’ve had in my career that have made a true difference in the way that I do my work and flex my development muscles. At the risk of sounding shallow, one of those was definitely the idea that what you wear, and how you carry yourself, can make you instantly seem more competent and better equipped for success.

People, whether we like it or not, base a lot of their impressions of us on first impressions and appearances. Though it may not actually be the case, donors and colleagues look at a well-put-together development professional as more competent and more talented than their less stylish counterparts. (And yes, I’ve known a lot of super-lazy dandies that don’t fit this description, but, as the proverb says, perception is reality.)

For the arts professionals who read this blog, we’re fortunate in the sense that we have more freedom to assert our personal style in a professional environment than, say, our human services or political counterparts. Our orgs are creative by nature, and creativity is often encouraged amongst staff. Our own employee dress code (which I crafted, not completely disharmoniously, from that of a hair salon), states “All dress will project an image of fashion, professionalism and good taste.” (Today, for example, I am wearing a grey 3/4-sleeve jacket with a white button-down shirt, a long marcasite pendant necklace, and a grey knit muted leopard-print skirt with nude hose and patent snakeskin pumps. Not too over-the-top, but not too conservative either.)

You don’t need to pay a personal stylist or personal shopper to give you advice (though there are many reasonably priced ones out there). Much of what you need to know you can learn from books and websites. All it takes is practice, and a few friends or colleagues that will be honest with you. Enlist their help, and explain what you want to accomplish.

I could write about this topic all day (interview dress, the 10-point system, business casual, etc.), but instead I thought I would offer 10 Tips (and Links) to help you get started on your own professional-dressing odyssey. I’ve tried to provide a mix of guy, girl and unisex tips, but feel free to add your own in the comments section!

Wouldn’t you love to keep reading? Please do.

The Golden Goulash: April 6, 2013

chfA short collection of the most interesting articles and features that found their way across my desk this week. I’ll be collecting these gems and posting them every Saturday. If you find any articles that rocked your world this week, let me know on my Contact Page and I’ll add them to the next Golden Goulash!

Click Here for This Week’s Helping.

Webinars: April 4-April 18, 2013

webinarsI love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are seminars on a variety of topics, offered over the internet, usually with an expert speaker and a visual presentation. They’re great training for people with limited training budgets who want to know more about a particular development topic; many of them are offered for a nominal fee, and some are even free! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)

Click here for this week’s listing.

Webinars: March 28-April 18, 2013

webinarsI love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are seminars on a variety of topics, offered over the internet, usually with an expert speaker and a visual presentation. They’re great training for people with limited training budgets who want to know more about a particular development topic; many of them are offered for a nominal fee, and some are even free! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)

Click here for this week’s listing.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

teamwork2In planning our capital project at the theatre where I work, we are entering new territory. The variety of programs that we are planning, and the spaces in which we will be able to do them, will be multiplying by the time the project is finished.

As arts organizations, we are mission-driven to provide artistic and cultural experiences to our patrons, and often to the community at large, regardless of their age, income level or other factors. Chances are, unless you live in a very tiny town, there are other organizations that are obligated to better the lives of their community as well.

The great part about all of this enrichment and quality of life improvement is that it gives us many opportunities to collaborate. For example, some of the programs that we will be adding are music education and lessons, school programming, independent cinema, and a student theatrical program. Because this is our first foray, as administrators, into this territory, it could potentially be a mountain of work and coordination, and it might take us years to get it right.

Very fortunately for us, there are people in our community who already do these things on a smaller or piecemeal scale. A local teacher who schedules and gives piano lessons is working with us on our music education program. A group of teacher center directors is helping us to determine the best way to introduce programming into our schools. Another organization in our area who does a small amount of independent cinema wants to partner with us to promote their brand and serve a neighboring community. Our student theatrical program will be directed by a woman who has worked with various groups of young people in the areas of acting, creative movement and performance.

There is no need for us to reinvent the wheel, and learn from scratch skills and aptitudes that others have spent many years developing. Make a list of your ideas, and ask yourself who can help. If you are starting a new initiative, chances are that there is someone in your community that could lend advice, expertise or experience to your efforts. The time that you spend seeking them out will be a great investment in your future. Working together not only makes your projects more fundable, but it keeps you from duplicating services and splitting your audience with a more established program at another venue.

Have you had good experiences partnering with others in your community? Feel free to share them with us!

Webinars: March 21-April 11, 2013

webinarsI love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are seminars on a variety of topics, offered over the internet, usually with an expert speaker and a visual presentation. They’re great training for people with limited training budgets who want to know more about a particular development topic; many of them are offered for a nominal fee, and some are even free! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)

Click here for this week’s listing.

Magic Monday: Be Yourself

Artwork by Dallas Clayton. Find his work at http://dallasclayton.com/

Artwork by Dallas Clayton. Find his work at http://dallasclayton.com/

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

When I first started in development, I was a bit cowed when dealing with people of means. I always made enough to get by, but for some reason I thought that affluent people were otherworldly, that I somehow couldn’t communicate with them the same way that I could with those that I considered to be my peers. Even when I became more used to it, I still felt like I had to be a chameleon and change my personality to accommodate those to whom I was communicating.

Some sandwiches and a bag of chips changed my outlook on things. I was hosting the first meeting of our planning study task force for our capital campaign, and I had mentioned that lunch would be available. I bought a variety of sandwiches, chips and soda and waited for our guests to arrive. As they showed up in their suits and wool coats, stockings and heels, they began to mingle and get settled.

About halfway through the meeting, while I advanced slides for one of our other presenters, I looked around the room and noticed that everyone was eating sandwiches and chips. This shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I had convinced myself that these otherwordly beings would somehow have transformed their sandwiches and chips into something tidier, or that fancy silverware would have come out of their coat pockets. But there they were, with paper plates and napkins, drinking soda from cans, and I made an important realization: they were just like me in some ways.

I know I have mentioned Asking Matters previously (check them out; I love their site and their ideas). Co-founder Andrea Kihlstedt has written a great article on how to be yourself as a fundraiser. Let me know what you think. If you have any stories about your own donor a-ha! moments, I’d love to hear those, too!