Q: I’m about to go through the annual December holiday party marathon. 13 of them this year, and I already feel unlucky. I’m a development officer for an organization in a pretty small town, and there are only so many major donors, so I’m going to run into a lot of folks that I have urgent donor business with…what’s the etiquette here? I don’t want to upset my hosts or my prospects, but I don’t want to pretend that I don’t need to talk to these people about giving my organization money. I don’t know how to talk to MY donors at someone else’s party, and it’s sort of a separate question, but I don’t really know how to balance the party we’re throwing between a nice thank you celebration for the folks who support us year round and reminding some donors that we want their money before the end of the month.
A: Two good questions. Let’s take them separately…First, Other People’s Parties.