June 2, 2011

Now go, develop for us!

A few months ago, our talented Development Officer moved on from LCCT. It was a sad time for us and we missed her (self-proclaimed) snarkyness around the office. On top of missing her personality, we gravely missed her high-quality development work. But rather than stretching our budget to hire a new development employee, we decided it would be best to split her roles (and they were many!) between a few of us here at LCCT.

Here's how my initial development meeting went down...

"So Peter (who admittedly has very minimal development experience), how would you like to take on the role of event manager, individual giving cultivation (huh, what's that!?!), and health literacy grants writing and management?"

"Umm, yeah that sounds good. Thanks." (Peter immediately heads to his computer to Google "Individual giving cultivation" and spends the following nights reading books on "The Benevon Model.")

Well, maybe it wasn't that simple...I mean, I did have a bit more to say than "umm, yeah that sounds good." But walking away from the meeting I felt like I was in a whirlwind trying to wrap my head around the new roles.

It's been a sharp learning curve (that I'm still in the midst of!), and my first big event is coming up this Sunday. It's called Literacy on Tap and it's going to be a friggin blast! It's an invite-only event (ooo la la!) and we're going to have live music, free appetizers from Zax, free beer from Jester King and Live Oak Breweries, and lots of word games. All is coming together these last few days before the event and (the purpose of this blog post) I have collaboration to thank for it.

Although I came into this position feeling a bit nervous about my new jobs, I was fully supported by colleagues, board members and volunteers. Take the Literacy on Tap planning committee for example, our planning committee is comprised of a development coworker and our ED, two members of our board of directors (one of which is the chair), and three highly committed volunteers (who happen to be two close friends of mine and my gf). This eclectic group coalesced and planned the most successful event in LCCT history! Well, that's a bit of stretch considering the event hasn't even taken place yet, but I can say that with only three more days to prepare I'm feeling very calm and stress-free. I'm confident it'll be a great event.

I've been with the Literacy Coalition for 2 years now and I've come to realize that it's the collaborative effort on projects and unending support that allows me to really love my job. I know that on any given day I can reach out to colleagues, board members, volunteers and community members for guidance and collaboration, and they'll be there without hesitation.

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