A conversation with Anna Morozovsky, Senior Consultant at Thread Strategies
When Thread was still a mere twinkle in founder Loree Lipstein’s eye, Anna was the first person to see the vision, join the team, and embrace the adventure. From day one, she has been an anchor on our team, helping to build the firm and to introduce new teammates to our culture and ethos. In the spirit of celebrating our amazing Thread team, we thought it would be fun to sit down with Thread’s first-ever hire and pick her brain on fundraising, consulting, and teamwork.
I’ve found that if you can laugh and get along with your teammates, then you can get through the harder moments.
Thread: Why did you choose development/fundraising as your profession?
Anna: I got introduced to fundraising my senior year of college through an internship at a political organization where the small development team took me under their wing and then hired me after graduation. The combination of extroverted relationship building skills and introverted spreadsheet time has been the perfect balance for me over the years, and I’ve grown to love both aspects of the career.
Thread: What do you enjoy most about supporting fundraisers as a consultant?
Anna: I love being able to do what I always wished a consultant would do for me. As fundraisers we are always drinking out of a fire hose – there are always so many things to do, and so many more people we could be helping, if only we had more time (and more money coming in!). I love being able to be that extra support to help organizations finally get that donation analysis done, get their year-end campaign kicked off on time, have the tools they need to successfully sit down with major donors, and all the other smaller things along the way.
Thread: How has having a strong team been important in your career as a fundraiser?
Anna: Having been my own development shop at a few places, and having had a team at a few others, I know a team can make all the difference. I’ve also found that having a good, thoughtful, understanding manager can make or break the experience. Someone who understands what a development team is and how it fits into that particular organization is the key to making the job do-able.
Thread: From your experiences, what are some signs a healthy, well-functioning team?
Anna: Is it silly to say laughter? I’ve found that if you can laugh and get along with your teammates, then you can get through the harder moments. Overall, I’d also say you can’t discount the importance of a culture of philanthropy organization-wide. If you don’t have buy-in from the rest of the organization that fundraising is an essential function alongside programs, then the development program will never reach its full potential.
Thread: What advice would you give to other fundraisers who are early in their career?
Anna: I started my career in political fundraising, and I gained so much from those years working on campaigns as a finance director. I was forced to learn quickly, often under intense pressure. But 10 years later, I am still using what I learned in those early years and the ability to produce quality work, quickly, is something I use every single day. So, for those just starting out, I would say to dive right into the work and embrace the “baptism by fire” learning experience that often comes with a fundraising role. In this field, the pace is always quick. Learning how to both do the work and do it quickly (while still doing it well!) is a skill that will serve you well throughout your career!