By Amy Tribble, Vice President of Resource Development
Over the past 51 days, since joining the staff of ASC as VP of Resource Development, I’ve been reminded again and again of what I believe is the key to success in a fund development program. It’s a belief that I recently shared with a young woman who was writing a paper for a class at UNC- Charlotte. She asked me, “What three things are essential to a successful fundraising program?” My response may surprise you. I told her that success in fundraising comes down to one essential fact – it’s all about the donor. Pure and simple. If you are willing to listen to and learn from your donors you will be successful.
My belief that it’s all about the donor is related to my belief in a model that is based on abundance rather than scarcity. Because I know there is enough to go around I do not feel competitive when it comes to donors. And, if it’s all about the donor subsequently my role is to align the donor’s interests with the donor’s passions – even if that means pointing them in the direction of an agency other than my own. While this is my ethical obligation as a fundraiser, for me it goes much deeper – it’s my calling, my passion. It makes this work fulfilling.
Over the next several months, ASC will use survey tools, focus groups, phone calls and visits to learn more about the people who make our mission possible. We plan to use this information to build a donor-focused program. Our hope – a program built with direct input from the donors themselves to address their needs. Our goal – donors who know that they matter as much as their gifts and understand the important role they play in shaping a vibrant cultural life for all.