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Fundraisers: Ambassadors or Back Office Support Staff?

A young fundraiser in a new job recently told me that he has been calling donors to introduce himself. “They don’t want to talk to me,” he said sadly. “They want to talk to program staff or the executive director.”

I wanted to encourage him, but there was a sliver of truth in his discouragement. It is more gratifying for a donor to get the attention of a frontline worker or a leader than the development staff. On the other hand, throughout my fundraising career I have solicited many five- and six-figure gifts as the sole representative for the organization.