Welcome!

Hi and thanks for reading my blog.  I’m Daria…a 57-year-old lover of all things Chocolate, Travel and Wine.  I am starting this blog to connect with like-minded people, and simply as a fun hobby!  Since chocolate, travel and wine are three of my favorite things, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty to talk about and lots of people who share those passions with me.

Career-wise — I’ve been a professional fundraiser for about 25+ years.  I started at Princeton University as an office assistant, and worked my way up in their fundraising department.  This was before fundraising was really recognized as a profession — but what a place to start!  It was a pretty relaxed place to work, at first.  Many of the alumni were executives in the development department (“Development” is what they call fundraising.  “Advancement” is another term for it.)  So I learned from the best.  One of the positions I took during my 20 some years in their employ was as Executive Secretary to the Recording Secretary.  The Recording Secretary is the person who supervises a staff that acknowledges all gifts to the University.  They even produce a yearly book, or used to, called “Gifts to Princeton.”  People who permit publishing of their gifts in the book have to make a gift of $5,000 or higher to see their name in there.  So anyway…I worked my way up and eventually became a Prospect Researcher.  As a researcher, we helped the front line staff determine who really wanted to give to Princeton, and how much they might want to give.  For instance, if your college or church, lets say, came to you and asked you for a million dollars — would you be able to provide that?  Or would you think they were crazy.  Would you be offended that they didn’t even know enough about you to make a correct ask for a donation at an affordable level?  That’s the purpose of Prospect Research — to help determine an appropriate ask that will not offend the donor.  This is somewhat simplistic, but we can always cover that in another post.

After Princeton, I decided that in order to obtain different experiences and move steadily up in salary, I would need to move around a bit.  And so I did — Bryn Mawr College, Pennsbury Manor, University of Delaware, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation, and more.  I went from learning fundraising from the wonderful ground floor of Princeton, to managing a department or two, and also becoming a front-line fundraiser, manager, grant writer, etc.  I attended many, many Prospect Research conferences, became a Presenter at a few, became the Vice President of a local Research Chapter, and more.  It was, and is, a wonderful career path, and I loved every minute of it.  I feel fortunate to have worked for some of the best organizations in the country.  But there came a time….when I needed a change.

And so I did — after a divorce, I struck out to learn real estate, bartending, massage therapy, copywriting, and truck driving — yes truck driving.  And strangely enough, I was successful in obtaining all the licensures and certifications that go along with those professions.  I surprised myself by my ability to achieve each new thing.  And so, here I am today.  The things I want most, however, are to connect with people through the written word.  And to share.  So thank you for reading this, if you still are, and stay tuned….Be safe, Be well, Be Loved.

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