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Donor Cultivation

Posted By Barbara L. Jones, Chief Curator, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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Donor Cultivation


While I was only able to attend the presentation by Katharine DeShaw from United States Artists during the first half of the session, I found it especially engaging. I’m sure that the development staff of all our institutions already know most of this information, but I learned a great deal that I think will help me when I’m asked to contribute a narrative to fundraising proposals. Hopefully others did as well. I think this part of the session really outlined the nuts and bolts of donor cultivation, presenting data that provided a clear picture of what donors/patrons want from us as museums. Katharine’s ‘39 steps’ gave everyone the ‘how to’ format to conduct an ‘ask’ interview with a prospective donor. That we are all fundraising ambassadors for our museums is so true. You never know when a simple kind gesture might turn into a major gift, which has happened in my museum. I think it is valuable to continue sessions such as this one because they allow us as curators to tread outside our comfort zone and learn about the efforts at work in other parts of our institutions. With arts funding continually shrinking around the country, it is as important as ever that curators are armed with the information needed to assist in this area of development. The title of Katherine’s presentation, Donor Centered Fundraising "It’s Not Just Cocktail Parties…” is so appropriate; as it affects all of us now.


Barbara L. Jones

Chief Curator

Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Tags:  donor 

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