Development: Behind the Scenes at the Abbe Museum

We found Hannah chatting away, making sure the Abbe's
upcoming programs and activities
were included on summer event calendars.
Hannah Whalen, Director of Development

In January, it’s usually a little chilly in my office upstairs at the Abbe Museum.  Armed with a sweater and a cup of hot tea, I set to work on the computer, planning and strategizing for the upcoming year of Fundraising and Development work at the Abbe.

The budget has already been determined for 2012 and I need to make sure that we have an organized approach in order to meet our annual fundraising goals.  I recently finished the Development Plan for 2012 and the accompanying tracking system that we use internally to make sure we stay on pace with our mailings, membership, sponsorships, donor visits etc...

 Right now, I am working on a comprehensive list or specific “menu” of ways that one can support the Abbe.  Programs, people and projects are what the “giving menu” is based upon and it will include things like support for: exhibits, events, educational programs, collections care, acquisitions fund, facility care and the people who make it happen.  When I visit with donors, I like to bring them news from the Abbe and learn more about who they are, what they are interested in and why they support the Abbe Museum.  This “menu” will be something that I will be able to share on my visits when it is appropriate. Part of my job is to be a match maker between the donor and the Abbe; I work to find funding opportunities that match a person’s interests or passion.  I can then tailor a specific proposal for them. When a match is made, it is exciting and deeply satisfying for both parties.

It seems like the summer is light years away, but it will be here before we know it.  We are already planning for the Gathering Gala, which happens on July 18th this year.  My job is to garner sponsorship support for the Gala and I am working with Astra to organize the mailing list and get the letters out to potential sponsors.  Meanwhile, we are planning our second annual winter gathering for Gala artists, sponsors and Abbe volunteers.  This is way to thank our local community members for their support in the off-season, when we have more time to get together.

There is plenty more going on, but I am going to get another cup of tea and turn my focus to the “giving menu” and other Development-related duties.  Thank you for your interest in the Abbe Museum and for supporting our on-going effort to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit.