Insights Major & Principal Gifts

Sourdough and Development

I have baked bread for years, actually more like decades. The bread I typically make is challah

I have baked bread for years, actually more like decades. The bread I typically make is challah, the classic egg bread that is part of the Shabbat meal. It is fairly basic and not too difficult to make. I love that our 25-year-old son has taken to making it, as well.

For my recent birthday, my family thought that with the added time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s give Randy a sourdough starter kit. I was excited, but unsure of all that it was going to entail on this new adventure.

I can say or maybe they can attest that I have figured it out. While making my latest loaves, I realized that making sourdough is analogous to development. Please join me on this explanation.

We all know that good organizations are living organisms. They grow, change and evolve or they die. The same is for our sourdough starter. It is a living organism that needs to be cared for, fed and nurtured. The starter needs to have flour and water added, stirred and time to grow. It is like the donor who starts out with one gift per year and then starts giving more frequently and eventually makes very healthy gifts on a regular interval.

I also learned that making a good sourdough isn’t a quick and easy ask. The process takes about ten hours from the starter being fed and growing, to two three-hour rises and the 30 minutes or so of baking. Just like a donor, it wants that engagement and care. If you take care of it, it will reward you. You need to pay attention. Like your donor, know when to ask and when to wait.

So, with hours in one place and the limitations on going out to meet with donors and prospects, I encourage you to keep up your development skills with some good sourdough. If you want some tips, I’d recommend this masterclass with a baker from Ireland.

Good eating. Here is a picture of two sourdough loaves and a dozen bagels I made a few Sundays ago.

If you’re looking to grow, change or evolve your development program—S. Sutton and Associates Inc. can help. While not all of our Associates are expert bread-makers, they are experts in fundraising. Schedule a complimentary consultation with us or contact us at [email protected].

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