Ann Rosenfield, CFRE
Executive Director, The WoodGreen Foundation
In case you haven’t guessed, I love Congress. Have loved it since the first one. There are many reasons to love Congress but one of them is actually the vendors. There was this Dilbert cartoon about “Friendors” – half vendor/half friend. Needless to day, Scott Adams had a very funny, slightly twisted point of view.
However, I find that vendors really are an incredibly useful resource – after all, while my problem seems just intractable to me, vendors are always “oh, that problem, well in the other 497 charities, I have seen the following 3 three things work really well.”
I also find that many vendors are willing to let me hire them for just a day or half day to help work through a problem. As a small fundraising shop, that can be an economical way to get the expertise I need without breaking the bank.
Which brings me to my beloved Friendor, Pam Gignac. Pam is a 3 for 1 deal because she has expertise in prospect research, Raiser’s Edge and fundraising. I have known Pam since forever and every year at Congress we catch up on kids, life, and data.
So the reason I knew that Pam was the solution to the problem I was facing (curse you complex list extraction) was because I had bumped into Jeff (her lovely spouse) when he was a vendor at Fundraising Day. Seeing Jeff, helped me connect the dots on how to solve my problem.
See, if you walk the vendor aisle, not only can you get a year’s supply of free pens and your body weight in chocolate, you can also reconnect with vendors, bounce a quick idea off of them and who knows, maybe even hire them to solve a problem (bless you, Pam for sorting out that fiendish list extraction).
Ann Rosenfield, MBA, CFRE is the Executive Director of the WoodGreen Foundation and is a big believer in the strategic, selective use of expert advice.