Finding painless ways to conduct nonprofit fundraising

Posted on: December 9, 2014

In Monday’s (12/8) Chronicle of Philanthropy, Charlie Shauck writes about fundraising strategies at a variety of nonprofits, many of whose leaders “never expected that their careers would include fundraising.” … At symphony orchestras, for example, the music director … is the public face of the organization and may find it especially awkward to cultivate donors. The most important way to deal with this, say conductors, is to remember that a music director’s role is the same on the podium as it is off: always focusing on the music and how the orchestra serves its community…. There are multiple ways that a music director can contribute to the work of fundraising without ever approaching the topic of money, says Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras. One way is learning how to articulate for potential donors a vision for the orchestra’s future. Another is understanding how to work with a board to help carry out that vision.” At the League’s training sessions to teach these skills, “ ‘One of the big pieces we work on is their nonmusical roles,’ says Mr. Rosen, ‘because that’s a role that doesn’t get taught when you go to the conservatory.’ ” Also quoted in the article are conductors Delta David Gier (South Dakota Symphony Orchestra) and Carolyn Kuan (Hartford Symphony Orchestra).

Posted December 9, 2014