Great Start for New Seasoned Development Professional SIG

Connecting a diverse group of non-profits

four professionals having a breakfast meetingOur new Seasoned Development Professional SIG is off to a great start with almost 20 members from a diverse group of non-profits expressing an interest in networking with other seasoned development professionals (10+ years) to exchange ideas, discuss development trends, share frustrations and learn more ways to galvanize the power of philanthropy to address critical needs.

Our first meeting with eleven attendees went so well we decided to meet every other week instead of monthly.  Our meeting focused on introductions, developing a list of topics we want to discuss, discussing when/how long our meetings should be, talking about how COVID has impacted our organizations and strategizing about golf outings during the pandemic since three members have/will be conducting an outing this year.  We had also had a very frank discussion about work concerns and the group established an important ground rule that meetings are a safe and brave space and “that was happens in the SIG, stays in the SIG”.

Upcoming meeting discussion topics include:

  • How to develop relationships with new donors during COVID
  • Creativity around getting visits with donors in virtual world (including “re-thinking” school/site tours)
  • Goal setting/forecasting and meeting goals during COVID
  • Managing staff morale and culture during these times
  • Holding staff accountable for metrics while keeping them motivated
  • Board and volunteer engagement while not meeting in person
  • Pros and cons of virtual fundraising from those who've done so in 2020
  • Virtual events strategies including virtual event sponsorship benefits
  • Best platforms to run virtual fundraising events; how to best structure Zoom “advice” or “update” visits with select donors and President/CEO
  • Pandemic’s impact on foundation and corporate giving
  • Organizational partnerships:  what works, what doesn't, what is of most interest right now

For those of you who missed the meeting, don’t worry we are meeting again soon on Wednesday, September 2nd at 8 am. Meetings will be virtual at first but will transition to in-person coffee meetings post-pandemic. You can register for the upcoming meeting here.

The group is facilitated by Michele Weinschrott, UWM Director of Development at the College of Nursing and the Zilber School of Public Health.  Michele is a seasoned (not senior) development professional with 30 plus years of diversified experience leading teams at area healthcare, religious and social service non-profits. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Seasoned Development Professional SIG, contact Michele at or 414-229-3797.