The real secret to sales & fundraising: Be purpose-driven and passionate

Molly Savage Breiner wrote this on Jun 14



Show notes

A former English & Theater major, Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald fell into the non-profit world. Needing a source of income for rent, she got her start in a call center for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and later led call centers for Steppenwolf & Looking Glass theatres. Today, she is the Chief External Relations officer at Taproot Foundation. The foundation was started in 2001 and drives social change by leading, mobilizing, and engaging professionals in pro bono service.

The non-profit industry can be tricky to navigate but Elizabeth likens it to working in sales. Both require a sense of fearlessness and ability connect with strangers, find common ground and build meaningful relationships. And the similarities don’t end there:

  • Fundraising is much like selling; you have multiple masters that hold you accountable.
  • Driving the right kind of client interaction requires saying “no” when appropriate.
  • Blunt honesty leads to properly managed expectations and can increase enthusiasm & activity.
  • Have a clear understanding of the project scope and deliverables.

Get involved
If you’re a professional who wants to lend your talents to well-deserving organizations, visit:

If you just want more details about the foundation, visit:

Connect with Elizabeth

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