June 13 | A Day in the Life: Manager of Development

What does a Manager of Development do all day? What even IS a Manager of Development? Here at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Rebecca O’Leary handles memberships, sponsorships, grants, and other fundraising duties in an effort to generate dollars in support of our mission and programming. We couldn’t present the world-class live events that we do without our members and sponsors… or without our Manager of Development! Sneak a peek as Rebecca shares her typical day.

9:00am: When I arrive at the Weinberg Center, I chat for a few minutes with Ashley, the Manager of Marketing and Jef, the Box Office Manager, before checking my email and voice messages. Today I have a request from a member to update their email address on file. Maintaining up-to-date contact information for our members is really important so that members receive communications from us, such as thank you letters, greeting cards, and renewal notices. In addition, members enjoy special perks – such as early access to new shows! – and their access codes are communicated to them via email.

10:00am: Speaking of thank you letters, I have a lot to get into the mail today! Thank you letters and receipts go out once a week for folks starting a new membership or renewing an old one. It’s really extraordinary that so many great folks want to support the arts in Frederick, and the Weinberg Center – so, I want to make sure that they know they are a valued part of the Weinberg Center family.

12:00pm: Mail call! Several membership renewals have come in the mail today. Membership renewals are processed once a week, so I take the renewals that came in today’s mail and make any necessary updates in our database before placing them in a folder with renewals that came in the mail earlier in the week. Tomorrow, I’ll process them all through our system.

1:00pm: Part of the funding that makes it possible for the Weinberg to present quality arts programming comes from grants, and one of our grant applications is due today. I double check that the application is completely filled out and that all of the signatures are in place, and that all of the attachments (such as our budget, proof of being a non-profit, and a list of our Board of Directors) are included. Fortunately, the foundation administering the grant is located in downtown Frederick, so I get to enjoy a walk in the beautiful spring weather and hand-deliver the grant package. On the way back, I meet Ashley at Rex’s to grab a huge chicken Caesar salad – it’s been a busy first part of the day, and I’ve worked up an appetite!

2:00pm: After spending all winter doing research, writing a script, and training tour guides, we’ve recently launched free backstage tours of the Weinberg Center that let visitors take a look at areas that are normally off limits to the public. There are over 40 people gathered in the lobby for today’s tour! While I’m upstairs checking out the number of participants, I notice that the invitations for an upcoming Tivoli Society pre-show reception have arrived, after being designed and sent to the printers last week. I grab the box and head back downstairs to start stuffing and addressing the invitations.

3:00pm: While I’m getting Tivoli invitations ready for the mail, our intern is hard at work alphabetizing autographed photos from many of the famous faces who have graced the Weinberg stage over the years. When he finishes alphabetizing, the photos will be placed in chemically inert polyester sleeves and housed in an archival binder, thus ensuring that they will be preserved for generations of future Weinberg visitors to enjoy. This is a process we began almost a year ago, and has been made possible by a kind grant from the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

4:00pm: After the Tivoli invitations are ready to go out in tomorrow’s mail and Ashley and I head over to Voila to take our (almost daily) tea break, I take on the final project of the day: brainstorming sponsor pairings for next season. The Weinberg Center is also very fortunate to have a number of generous corporate donors as well as individual members and foundation gifts. With the current season winding down, and the next quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start thinking about which shows on the calendar our corporate partners might be interested in sponsoring. This part of my job is a little bit like matchmaking!

5:00pm: At the end of the workday, I answer any final emails and head out the door. I want to catch a group class at the gym before heading to my electric bass guitar lesson. After that, it’s home to cook dinner with my husband and catch up on some reading, or maybe some Netflix binging.

See you at the theater!

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