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A Step Towards Better Leadership, Together

By the DRG Group

Our team at the DRG Group has been training the next generation of donor relations professionals for over a decade. We love helping newcomers develop their skills and build amazing donor relations programs. In fact, many of you are doing so well that you've moved into leadership roles—and we want to be here for you along that journey, too!

Why? For starters, we love what we do. We love working with you, strategizing and ideating, guiding you through difficult decisions and challenges. Everyone on our team has been there—leading teams large and small, building new initiatives, transitioning through change. We also want to see the future of our profession continue to adapt and evolve—and that lies in the hand of our current and future leaders.

That's why we created The Leadership Experience (LX)—to bring together a small group of development leaders and spend a year connecting, educating, and working together to help you become the extraordinary leader your organization needs. Learn more about the LX here.

The program starts August 1, and our team cannot wait to begin this journey with you. Here is what each of your facilitators (aka our DRG Group members) are looking forward to:

Lynne Wester, Principal and Founder, Donor Relations Guru

"I have such high hopes for the leadership experience. Born out of the days of the DRG Summit, I never gave up on the idea of a place for experienced professionals to talk, to share, to have a place to commune over topics that matter the most. These folks know how to do the work, now it's about refining the strategy, challenging leadership assumptions and taking their work and the work of others to the next level. We are better together than we are apart and it's about time we gathered again, this time online, to share ourselves to better both our organizations and ourselves.

The LX will help us push the boundaries of the profession and curate content that will affect generations to come."

Matthew Helmer, Consultant and Strategist, former ​Assistant Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for University Advancement

"So much about our work has changed in the past two years, and the opportunity—the need—to rethink the ways in which we show up as leaders has never been more pressing. Through the Leadership Experience, I look forward to engaging with a community of trusted thinking partners as we dive into the challenges of leading in today’s world.

From managing a remote work force to examining our work through a DEI lens, to crafting an integrated strategy that meets the evolving expectations of our donors, the topics landing on our desks and in our inboxes are complex and in many cases, unprecedented. Meanwhile, the tried-and-true methods of building and maintaining a professional network are becoming less reliable and available at a time when additional, experienced perspective can be a game-changer. The LX promises to flip the equation, connecting us to one another using tools built for the modern professional and putting leaders back in the driver’s seat as we guide our shops to successful next practice in donor relations — with the confidence of knowing we’re not alone in whatever we may face. This is going to be an incredible shared experience filled with ideation, problem-solving, and higher level thinking about our impact and outcomes, and I can’t wait to get started!"

Angie Joens, Consultant and Strategist, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Development Outreach

University of California Davis

"Leadership can be lonely—we have to make the tough decisions and sometimes all you want is someone to run your crazy idea by or someone who understands the challenge you are facing. The leadership experience is going to create space for these discussions and so much more. Finally, there will be a network of experienced donor relations leaders that can come together with others who get what we do and how important, exciting and challenging it can be.

I'm also excited to learn from others. There is so much great work happening in donor relations and I cannot wait to hear the new ideas, projects, programs, and events that are wowing and winning our donors over.

I hope the Leadership Experience becomes a pathway for talent and professional development. We want to take people with experience and a strong understanding of donor relations and push boundaries of how our work is done. We want to identify the next practices of donor relations, identify the skills—and make certain we have those skills—to be successful. We want to create a talent pipeline to ensure our industry has the type of leaders our organizations will need to remain successful."

Sarah Sims, CFRE, Consultant and Strategist, Executive Director of Donor Engagement

University of Houston

"Being both a leader and a practitioner in my current role, I am most excited about coming together with like-minded donor relations professionals that are facing the same day-to-day challenges as I am. Just like any industry, there are nuances to our work and we often face the same obstacles no matter what size or type of organization you are in. I look forward to being able to share what I have learned, but also convene and create solutions for others who are in the same boat.

I am excited also to have dedicated time and space to tackle leadership level issues and think holistically about the next iteration of our industry. We often are so bogged down in the minutiae of the day, we forget to lift ourselves out of the weeds and work the larger picture. I look forward to stepping off 'tasks' and tackle theory, mentorship, creative problem solving, ideation, and more!"

To participate in this exclusive program, apply today! The application deadline in June 1.


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