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I’ve always thought it a bit peculiar that the professional term for fundraising is “development.” So, I looked it up in the dictionary and found, among various definitions, this one: the process of growth.

I then felt compelled to see what “growth” had to offer – and that was described as the process of increasing in amount, value, or importance.

And then, clearly, process needed some further clarification: “a systematic series of actions directed to some end.”

So, if you put them all together… you get it, right? Well, maybe not.

Good development is not simple, or easy. It takes years of practice, trial and error, and countless meetings and phone calls-some productive and others frustrating-with dedicated school leaders, committed board members, well-meaning volunteers, passionate donors, and more, to fully understand its inner-workings.

Nothing can replace actual experience in helping us become better than we were before, but luckily, we have the opportunity to learn not only from personal experience, but the experience of others.  

In the Value of Mentoring, Ron Culberson states: “Mentoring allows us to accurately evaluate our skills, to see our blind spots and to determine a plan for improvement. And isn’t that a worthy goal for both our professional and our personal endeavors?”

I couldn’t agree more – which is why Prizmah is thrilled to be offering a two-day convening for Jewish day school development professionals March 11 and 12, 2018 in Quincy, MA. Sessions will be presented by some of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and accomplished professionals in the greater Jewish community – and are specifically targeted to development professionals who are relatively new to this work. Come learn from the experts and be inspired by lay leaders who will share their motivation for investment.  

A Jewish day school development professional’s job is to use every skill available to secure that investment.  (And btw, that includes humor. If you doubt that, you must read Maria Semple’s hilarious Where’d you go Bernadette? The letter from the consultant to the Galer Street School Parent Association found in the beginning of the novel will no doubt resonate in its raw truth and somewhat uncomfortable familiarity!)

So, do this for yourself. Do this for your school. Do this for our collective future. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Francine Shron
GFA Program Manager
Prizmah Development Manager