My boss likes to say that development is a numbers game. “You have to throw a lot of mud against the wall,” she says. She’s right. If there’s one thing you have to be when working in development, it’s a bit of an explorer. Excavating the deepest recesses of the internet to find some long-lost foundation that hopefully you can send an LOI (letter of intent) to is a daily part of the job. But even when you think that there can’t POSSIBLY be any more places to apply to, a little more effort unearths 6 more. There’s always something more. That has been a source of hope in my job when I feel the familiar and uneasy arms of monotony rocking me into a state of mental lethargy. There could be a great foundation that is the jackpot for your organization.
I guess the other really essential trait a development person has to have is patience. There are so many people throughout the entire country that do exactly what I do: have worthwhile and important programs to fund, and ask for support from reputable and wealthy organizations. So there is a lot of competition, and when a foundation or government agency gets requests for funding, they usually review every single submission.