More Than Asking for Donations

By Shianne Chatarjee

For those not directly involved in the industry, development may just mean raising money and asking for donations. However, even through the few years of experience I’ve been able to gain thus far, I have learned that the term ‘development’ means so much more. Although fundraising is an important component of development, it is still only part of a much bigger picture.Development

non profit fundraisingTo me, development is about the advancement of an organization or institution based on building a brand and an image. This is done through marketing and public relations – creating a strong brand presence and using effective promotional methods and tools to increase awareness and make others believe in your cause so much so that they want to support it and take action. Development refers to the growth of an entire organization, not just its bank account.

I hope that in working for an innovative company such as The Wakeman Agency that I will be able to learn effective and creative ways for an organization to do just what I described above – to promote and advance its mission through awareness. I hope that I will be able to take on more responsibilities and get hands-on experience in development. My particular interest lies in event planning, and I am aware of the many details and logistics that go into the organization of a successful event. Through working at The Wakeman Agency I hope that I will be able to see this first-hand.

While of course, I hope to gain many new skills and abilities, I also believe that this internship is a great opportunity to improve upon some of my core character traits, such as organizational and interpersonal skills. As in every industry, there are always certain tasks that prove challenging, even if you love what you do. For me, this has been direct calling clients, event guests, or potential donors. I hope that through this experience I may become more comfortable with this aspect of planning an event, as it is important to have this type of direct contact with those you are working with. I hope that from this experience, I will not only become a more well-rounded professional, but also that I may be more comfortable with the challenging tasks that working in development presents everyday.