If you are reading this article, chances are, you know well the highs, lows and in-betweens of running or working at a chamber. Importantly, you know how immensely rewarding chamber work can be. After all, your daily work helps grow businesses, connect people to jobs, and improves quality of place and life for people in your community.
There is a lot to be said for working at one chamber in one community – putting down roots, building strong relationships and the like. But there is also a lot to be said for working with multiple chamber professionals in multiple communities and helping them serve and lead their respective cities, counties, and regions.
With their first-hand experience in the field, chamber professionals are well positioned to join companies that serve the entire chamber and economic development industry. Working at one of these companies, you can serve the industry you love and provide expertise so many chambers need – strategic planning, marketing, software implementation, executive search, and more. See the ACCE sponsor list for many more examples.
Admitting my bias, I’m going to focus on the BEST career in the chamber world – capital campaign management! I recently asked our team at POWER 10 to share some of the reasons they love capital campaign management and working with lots of chambers around the country:
- Helping clients push the limits of what might be possible so their community can achieve new heights
- The “big game” aspect of our work – there is an opportunity to WIN; many jobs only offer the opportunity to make incremental progress
- Helping clients cast a big vision, rally the community behind it, and ultimately change lives because of the programs and initiatives that are implemented with the funds we raise
- Constantly learning about new ideas and approaches to chamber and economic development work, and facilitating the sharing of best practices among chambers coast-to-coast
- The thrill of making the case, making the ask, and securing new investments
- Leaving a lasting and transformational legacy on the communities and organizations we serve
- Working on a wide variety of projects in different types of communities around the country
- Getting to know communities and their leaders, and helping them advance their goals
- Exercising intellectual curiosity and engaging in strategic and tactical work every day
Capital campaign management and fundraising skills can be taught, but certain personal attributes increase the likelihood of success in the field, including:
- Executive presence. Confidence, poise, and capacity to “read the room” and influence an audience
- Strong communication skills. Precise, clear, and compelling verbal and written communication is critical as we do a certain amount of “educational persuasion” in seeking pledge investments on behalf of our clients
- Project management savvy. Strong project management skills
- A “no job is too small” attitude. Willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Communities across the spectrum – rural, suburban, and urban – run capital campaigns, and opportunities to make a big impact are plentiful. Capital campaign management has historically been almost exclusively an in-person affair, however, client comfort levels with remote work have increased across the board, and we’ve found success in remote and hybrid remote / on-site service delivery. With that, travel schedules for campaign management staff are more flexible than ever making this career opportunity a great option for more people.
Excited about the possibility of a career in capital campaign management? Good news – POWER 10 is hiring! Click here to send us your resume and we’ll send you more details about the opportunity and schedule an introductory call.