Welcome to Ops & Asks! Sit Down and Stay a While.
Updated: Jun 6
Do I really think people want to read about the musings of a NYC fundraiser? You betcha!
I know, I know- you've been hearing this word “blog” float around the internet, and it might even be getting a little annoying. Who are these so called bloggers? Why is everyone talking about it? Oh no- am I really becoming one?
My name is Juliana, and yes – this is my blog. Welcome!
After ten years of fundraising day in and day out, I have learned some pretty remarkable things that I'd like to share with you. I promise your time here will be innovative, thought-provoking, and, most importantly, fun! Not convinced? Here are the top five reasons I am starting now and why you should come along for the wild ride.
1. The Fundraising Industry Is Vastly Under-Resourced. I Am Here To Change That.
We've all experienced it. We know it's true. Heck, there is even a library full of Chronicle articles on it. The fundraising industry is vastly under-resourced. Whether it's the (unnecessary and problematic but more on that later) desire to keep overhead costs low, high staff turnover, or operating on a shoestring budget, our industry could use a boost.
I'm here to do just that. Stay tuned as a share my thoughts on 'Asks' (i.e. front-line fundraising strategies) and 'Ops' (i.e. the tech and systems needed to run your fundraising initiatives).
Sit back and relax (or better yet- subscribe!). I promise you will learn something and maybe even have some fun too!
2. I'm Up To Some Pretty Cool Stuff
While I am a fundraising generalist (as fundraisers- we all wear many hats!), my career has always had one unifying thread. Siloing my efforts in fundraising operations has afforded me the opportunity to work on some truly innovative projects. Whether I optimizing revenue streams, automating integrations, tackling third party aggregators, enhancing strategies or utilizing artificial intelligence to streamline processes, my work is pretty darn cool. Want to learn more? I promise, you are in safe company and us nerds are the cool kids here!
3. To Me...This Work Is Personal
We all know the best fundraisers are those who are passionate about the missions they serve. I am proud of the narrative my career journey tells and, to me, this work is deeply personal. I've always known that I had an unshakable commitment towards a life of work in the nonprofit sector. Whether I was volunteering in my community or on the front lines of a demonstration, I knew that I was destined to give back.
In many ways, fundraising has shaped me into the person I am today and passion is the driving force behind everything that I do. I love what I do, and thankfully, there is a job for people like me! I am not slowing down any time soon. In fact, I have just begun.
4. Our Sector Has A Long Way To Go In The Fight Towards Equity
I am not afraid to speak my mind and I sure do have a lot to say! In my personal life, I am a devout advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity. The last thing I'll do is stay quiet when there is noise we all should be making. Plus, I have always enjoyed a good challenge and I don't shy away from a difficult conversation.
Let's be honest, our industry has a long way to go and if there is one thing I have learned from a life of working towards social justice, it's that creating equitable spaces takes a lot of work- work that is never truly done. I plan to dive head first into "the uncomfortable" and provide my readers with innovative ways we can improve our industry together.
Buckle up, we are about to get real.
5. Building Community - We're Stronger Together
To me, the privilege of helping others is one of the most fulfilling aspects of blogging. Whether it be through knowledge sharing, resource exchanges, or mentorship, I am determined to help build an intentional community of fundraisers cheering for our combined success—the only thing missing is you! Won't you join me?
So why are you here? Drop me a comment below and tell me some of the things you are curious about!
Juliana M. Weissbein, CFRE is a respected leader and decision influencer in regard to fundraising operations best practices. With over a decade of experience, Juliana thrives on professional growth, team success, measurable results, and inspiring fundraisers to utilize data-based strategies. Juliana currently serves as the Associate Director of Development Operations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is AFP Global's 2019 Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser and is a member of the AFP Global Women's Impact Initiative. Juliana is immediate past chair of the AFP New York City chapter’s Emerging Leaders Committee and currently serves on the chapter’s board chairing their mentorship program. She resides in Brooklyn, NY and never turns down a good kombucha.