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The One Thing -- A Q&A with Fundraiser DeAnn Acosta

18 Dec 2019 1:13 PM | Anonymous

DeAnn Acosta, executive director of AFP Colorado ChapterMeet DeAnn Acosta, CFRE, executive director of the AFP Colorado Chapter and a member of the ILD Steering Committee. DeAnn has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, including direct response, planned giving, capital campaigns, grant writing, special events, and donor database management. Prior to her role at AFP, she spent 10 years with the Denver Rescue Mission and managed their robust direct mail program.

What is single best piece of advice you can give to a fundraiser?

You need to feel passionately about the mission of your workplace. If you are not behind the organization, your donors will sense that from you, and they won’t get engaged either. It is also important to contribute financially to your organization. If you are not passionate, you should look for another organization that is meaningful to you.


What’s the one book (it can be about fundraising or not!) and the one fundraising blog/periodical that you recommend to fundraisers?  And why?

I first discovered “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising” when I studied for my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Exam. It’s on to a 4th edition today and is filled with excellent content from a variety of fundraising experts. It’s a great resource to read and have on your bookshelf.

I read “Chronicle of Philanthropy” on a regular basis, I find it to be an in-depth look at our sector.

What’s your favorite donor story?

Years ago, I remember working on December 31 when a donor called to make her end-of-the year credit card donation just before 5 pm. She called back five minutes later to say that the other charity she called was already closed, so she made a second gift to my charity. On-line giving has changed this dynamic completely, but it’s still good to be available to donors as much as you can!

What inspires you most as a fundraiser?

I am most inspired when I make a genuine philanthropic connection with someone, they are thrilled to support the cause and I feel proud that I made the connection.


What have you found to be most effective to stay energized in your work and to avoid burn-out?

In order to stay energized, I always make an effort to prioritize my professional development. I am a lifelong learner so I crave that sense of finding a cutting-edge strategy that might work. I work to become a better and more efficient fundraiser and I love to hear how others are being successful.

Institute for Leaders in Development at University of Denver | University Hall 301 2197 S. University Blvd. Denver Colorado 80208 | ildcolorado@gmail.com 

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