Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. – Yogi Berra
As I entered my current role at Eastern Kentucky University, I knew it was important to lay the groundwork for the new team. To do this, we took a trip to the Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. During the trip we explored baseball as a metaphor to understand the profession.
Consider these five ways that fundraising is like baseball. For your own use, some team discussion questions are provided at the end of each section. Please share any comparisons you have seen from your time in the “field.”
1. There’s no shame starting in a farm league
You can observe a lot just by watching. – Yogi Berra
Entering the profession usually starts in the trenches. Learn the ropes by watching more experienced players. Slowly get playing time.
Similarly, fundraisers typically start out as a development assistant or in annual fund. These roles have the responsibility of lots of travel—with relatively few major gift asks AND lots of phone calls and writing. These roles are both important. They force you to learn the importance of fundraising theory through repetition and practice of the fundamentals. Professional practice will reinforce proper mechanics… which will eventually be replaced by experience and success.
- How did you start in fundraising?
- How did that early experience shape your work today?