Getting Started Like any new office, you’ll need to provide the basics, such as office space, computers and phone lines.  Below are some of the things that are more specific to starting a development office: Hire the Right Staff You need to hire (or allocate) at least one person to look after your development office.  Remember that development offices succeed by building relationships, so you need staff with fantastic people skills.  Find out more about typical development office roles and things to consider when hiring development staff.  Some institutions combine fundraising and alumni relations roles with other positions such as marketing, admissions or finance. Get a Database A development office is nothing without good data, and most importantly the ability to record it, update it, access it, and use it.  That’s why choosing a decent fundraising and donor management database is vital.  Read more on choosing a fundraising database. Identify Your Community You have staff, you have a database, but what community is your database going to record? Who are your potential donors?  Alumni? Parents? Former Parents? Current students?  Whoever they are, work now needs to be done to: a) find out what records currently exist in your organisation, b) add them to the database, c) enhance and expand your data.  Struggling to find your missing alumni?  Read our guide on finding them. Identify Donors and Potential Donors Once you have a good database with accurate records, you should ask yourself: have any of them given before?  If so, have we said thank you?  Who can we ask for regular donations?  And most importantly, who are our potential major donors?  (i.e. the people who may make major contributions to your fundraising campaigns). Click here for tips on identifying potential major donors. Right, Get to Work! OK, you’ve got the people and the infrastructure in place - now find out about Development Office Workstreams. Getting a Development Office Started © Orier Digital Limited 2012