Welcome to Detroit
Mention that you’re from Detroit in any gathering of fundraising professionals across the country and you’ll hear, “Oh my God, how’s that going?” In truth, I’m a Detroiter by choice. From 2002 to 2008, I was a fundraising trainer for a company based in Seattle. Over the course of nearly six years on staff, I had the great privilege of training and coaching hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada in their quest for sustainable funding. While I felt great purpose and satisfaction in the fundraising accomplishments of the groups I coached and trained, a part of me longed to be back on the front lines of fundraising. October 3rd, 2008 I got my chance.
If you’re madly in love with the profession of fundraising, have a relentless calling to make a measurable difference in the world and have just moved into the “empty nest” stage of your life, what do you do? You look for the best opportunity to make the biggest difference with the knowledge, skills and talents you have: sounds like Detroit to me! There’s a staggering amount of data that would indicate Detroit is beyond the brink of devastation; high school graduation rates of less than 60%, one in four families have lost their home to foreclosure, widespread homelessness; and yet there is much evidence of the remarkable transformation that is possible for the Motor City.
We’ve Just Begun to Fight
From the ashes of the industrial age, corporate bailouts and political corruption scandals, rises the spirit of Detroit’s Joe Lewis exclaiming, “We’ve only just begun to fight!” I’ve witnessed extraordinary individuals committed to transforming Detroit through their thought leadership, dedication and financial contributions.
I believe in Detroit; and I’m not alone. It’s an honor to be a fundraiser in this city during this economic time. This blog will chronicle my observations and learnings as a fundraiser in my sandbox called Detroit. You know, If Sinatra had been a Detroiter instead of a New Yorker, the song may have gone a little differently. “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere……It’s up to you, Detroit……Detroit.”