A day in the life of Director of Development John Jorden

John Jorden has a job unlike many others at McNick. As Director of Development, his job covers many responsibilities.

“So, to give you an idea of my schedule, yesterday I had a meeting with Mr. Schmidt and Principal Mueller to talk about how we can raise money to replace some things. Then, I had a staff meeting with Mrs. McHugh and Mr. Young, after that I did some paperwork and what not. Then, I met with a person who could potentially be a very large donor, and we had about a two-hour lunch. Came back, and prepared for a board meeting full of 15 people, and we laid out a new strategic plan. And that was my full day yesterday,” Jorden said. “I’m also going to do quite a bit of paperwork, write some thank-you letters, and clean up the office, after a couple chaotic days, so it keeps me busy.”

As far as Jorden’s job goes, it covers a wide-range of duties from working on fundraising or other events, to working on small administrative tasks like writing thank-you notes and making phone calls to donors.

“This job is different every day. My main responsibility at McNick is to raise money and raise friends. So, I do some friend-raising and I do some fundraising. A lot of it is communicating with our alumni community and with friends of McNick — past parents, current parents. I do everything from talking to people who have the capacity to give us a lot of money, in a big picture wise, to changing the toner in my copier, so it’s very broad,” Jorden said.

A job like Jorden’s will come a fair share of challenges and issues that he faces during his everyday work. Jorden was able to open up a little bit about these problems and how he faces them on a daily basis.

“The most challenging part for me right now is to get everything done that I want to get done. Schools move a little bit slower than businesses. I owned my own business for 35 years, and the business world moves much faster than schools. I’m an anxious guy, and I want to be transformational for this school. We can improve our facilities, and we can make this place look a lot better than it does already, but I really think this is a wonderful school and place to be at,” Jorden said.

Jorden is a McNick man through-and-through; he’s sent all of his kids through McNick, which he says is the reason he is here today.

“I had three kids go here; I came to work here because of the experience they had, and I want to make this kind of education available for more kids and to even make it a better school, and I’m in a hurry to do that,” Jorden said.

“This is not a particularly stressful job. The people here are great. In the business world, you encounter dishonest people, there is nobody like that here. There’s a bunch of good, honest people that work at this place,” Jorden added.

As there are with any job, misconceptions come along with being an administrator that can make his job more difficult.

“Sometimes people don’t want to talk to somebody because their job is Director of Development because they think all I’m going to do is ask for money, and very rarely am I ever going to ask for money. So that is certainly a misconception because people think I’m just trying to get in their pocket. Really what I want to do is find out what they’re interested in and see if there is a way to marry their passion with a need we have here,” Jorden said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jorden’s job has admittedly become harder, and he has had to be creative in ways to get around the problems the pandemic has caused.

“I’m in a people business and a lot of what I do is over breakfasts, lunches, after work for outings, and that is all face-to-face. This is all a relationship business, so it’s made it a lot more difficult to get together with people and because of that, our events here at McNick have been limited,” Jorden said.

But through it all Jorden has been able to continue having success in raising money for the school, and he has proved he is an integral piece of not only current, but future plans of McNick as well.

John Jorden is the Director of Development at McNick, and his job duties including building relationships with alumni and fundraising for the school. “The less you have to pay to attend here, the happier we are. If we can get other people to help support families going through here, we are really happy,” Jorden said.


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