PODCAST: The New (Fundraising) Kid in Town ft. Blackbaud Customer Success Coach, Jerusha Schmalzel

The professional life of a fundraiser often involves changing gears. Fundraisers frequently move to new organizations to set new goals and take on new challenges. However, being the “new kid” in the organization can be a challenge of its own. 

Today’s guest, Jerusha Schmalzel, has some experience with the challenges of coming into a new organization. Jerusha is now the Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud, but she was formerly a Director and Vice President of development in the nonprofit sector. Listen to the episode to hear Jerusha’s do’s and don’ts for how fundraisers can adapt and succeed quickly in a new organization. 

Topics Discussed in This Episode: 

  • The importance of listening during your first few days at a new organization
  • How to respect existing alliances within the organization while forging your own alliances
  • Why you should not go into a new organization planning to clean house and bring in all your own people
  • How to introduce new practices without bashing existing practices
  • How to prioritize goals and projects when you’re working in a new organization
  • How to build habits and behaviors that help the organization better use data
  • Once you get past the initial few days or weeks, how to plan for the next 90 or 100 days at a new organization 

Listen now:

Subscribe on iTunes, tune in on Stitcher or listen below:

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Jerusha Schmalzel


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“You do not want to get the reputation of the fundraiser that goes into organizations, fires everybody underneath them, and brings in their best friends and their favorite people.” 

“Don’t take “we tried that already” as an answer.” 

“To me, that’s the hardest part about being the leader of a fundraising team – it’s keeping everybody on your side.



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