How Should You Network?

Networking is essential for one’s professional success, but have you ever thought about adjusting your approach depending on your field? @@For fundraisers, it’s all about getting connected to the local community and keeping the door open for future opportunities.@@ Here’s how Spark Point does it:

  • Local AFP Chapter – The Association of Fundraising Professionals was founded in 1960 and has more than 30,000 individual and organizational members. With chapters from Washington state to Washington, DC, it’s easy to get connected with other grant professionals, fundraisers, and consultants. Find your local chapter here.
    • Choose this network if you are seeking: support, knowledge, and guidance
  • Informal Cohorts – Unfortunately, fundraising can be a transient profession. @@If you are lucky, you’ve collected a small group of cheerleaders along the way.@@ Invite mentors and former co-workers to a gathering (Ex-Development Directors’ lunch, anyone?) to catch up on your professional lives. Have the group address how you can help one another get to where each person wants to be.
    • Choose this network if you are seeking: inspiration and/or to take your career to the next level
  • Local YNPN Chapter – The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network focuses on connecting inspired and engaged leaders in the social sector. Although they do not have as many chapters as the AFP, YNPN hosts frequent networking events where you can meet entry and mid-level professionals who haven’t yet lost the twinkle in their eyes. Find your local chapter here.
    • Choose this network if you are seeking: a reminder of why you entered this field and/or potential job and client opportunities
  • Issue-Based – If you know how to raise money, you are already hirable. However, specialized experience can make you that much more attractive to a nonprofit that has a particular focus. @@Whether it’s environmental issues, health and wellness, or women’s rights, attend events that cater to those who care about the issue.@@ Search for opportunities like DC’s monthly Repro Health Happy Hour. You never know who you might meet.
    • Choose this network if you are seeking: to interact with passionate professionals who participate in all sectors

How do you network? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @Spark_Point 🙂

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