Fundraiser: A Day in the Life

By + More

As a development director for a college, you probably have among the campus's most plush offices—the college wants its rainmakers and donors to be comfy. Your morning might start by reviewing prospect dossiers—corporate executives and other fat cats you'll visit in person. Each dossier, compiled by a staff researcher, identifies the prospect's hot buttons: Is he a sports nut? Then you can hit him up for money for the new football stadium. Is she passionate about the environment? Explain the dire need to expand the library's collection on environmental studies. After brushing up on wills and trusts, off you go to meet your prospects. Both say no, for now—but that's OK, because "friendraising" is often a necessary prerequisite for fundraising. Back at the office, you review the plan for the annual campaign, which includes telemarketing scripts, direct-mail pieces, and "Dinner With the Profs," a meeting between big donors and the school's best educators. Finally, you review your website's traffic numbers and work on a plan to tweak the site and generate more donations.