Judy --- I'll do my best to reply, point by point. Though it’s not that easy, since so many diverse experiences and skills are interwoven in such a way that the one, direct and clear career path to suggest is elusive. The good news is that yo do indeed have an impressive array of skills, talent, and experience. The bad (actually challenging) news is that each facet of your previous and current career is a story unto itself regarding where you go next, and how.
(Quotes in part, and my replies)
You said > ... I do think I have incorporated "Development Speak" pretty well. I also have a Fundraising Certificate and have taken many workshops.”
Good to do the former, but in degrees and intensity in tune with the interviewer. You initially sense if the interviewer is driven so idealistically, that she or he will be in a huff that you dared to “compare” the selling of Avon Products to feeding the poor. Some of those dedicated and driven (bless ‘em) folks do have the blinders on though. So, take care. There were many development professionals I knew who were at home with the sales program and fund-raising campaign comparisons, once we showed how knowledgeable we are regarding the vast differences in mission and bottom line. So, “development speak” in the context of coming from your “business speak” must be articulated with care.
In the second of your statements, the “Fundraising Certificate” and that you have “taken many workshops,” are nice points to say, but in an aside. I would be impressed with your seeking of knowledge, but I would not put much stock in the value you received being directly applied to what I want, because I simply would not know what you learned and how well you learned it. Nice to have and to say, but I would not tout them too much as key selling points.
> “ ... experience: -sales, management, arts admin, wrote grants, helped w annual appeal letter, helped w two fundraising events 25% of job---the rest of job was producing concerts, grassroots marketing, volunteer coordination and office manager) what positions do you think I would be qualified for? If you were a hiring manager and saw this experience what would come to mind?”
There are about eight jobs there. Were you interviewing with me, and if I had a need to fill one of those posts in my organization, naturally you would amplify and embellish on the one appropriate. The strongest, as I earlier said, would be for you to channel your sales experience into the fund-raising area. Otherwise, I see a possible operations specialist emerging.
>” ... “Do you have a sense on how other hiring managers might perceive my eligibility for any of the different types of jobs- volunteers, events, marketing development etc?”
Still, the dreaded word, “experience” will come up, time after time. And the degree of how much will be acceptable, will differ from job opportunity to job opportunity. Some will only want those who can hit the ground running, while others will nurture and groom what little experience is there initially. I did the latter many, many times during my twenty years as Director of Development. The best way to get the “sense” is in person.
> ... “my preference would be to find a Development Associate position where I could be mentored and learn the ropes from a seasoned Dev Director.”
From what I can gather with our exchanges, that is THE only way to go.
> “However I wonder if I am underestimating my eligibility for Dev Director positions? What do you think?”
As a Development Director, when it comes to developing the detailed plans and producing the tools for annual, capital, endowment, sponsorship, and underwriting campaigns, you cannot look around and ask, “What do I do now.” Take a look at the forty-one “campaign readiness” assertions in the following article. If you can nod your head in agreement that “I can do that,” then you could be a Director of Development. That ability is what it takes.
--- Check Out Your Organization's Fund-Raising Readiness And Learn The
Secret Of Fund-Raising Success
The ultimate “fit” for you is to keep your options open regarding the various skills and experience you have in those varying degrees and keep sizing them up with your interviews.
Sorry, but from this “distance,” there is not much I can add or do to accurately assess and to recommend. But, I hope that what we have done will be of some use.
It might be worth your while to talk to a career professional from a local management placement agency.
Getting in touch with folks from the nearest-to-you chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals might have you meet and talk to a few AFP members who could provide valuable direction -- even offers of jobs or tips on where to go.
--- AFP Geographic Search Page:
Best of all good luck,