Coaching as a Tool to Break Through Today’s Fundraising Challenges
Influential nonprofit fundraisers have long been admired for the boundless energy they put toward ensuring the success of the organizations and causes they champion. The continued passion and dedication they exhibit are inspirational to many and serve as a reminder of the reason we choose to work in the nonprofit profession. But in light of all the challenges nonprofit fundraisers face today, how can they continue to attain that exhilarating level of excitement about the critical work they and their organizations do in their communities and the world?
Today’s nonprofit challenges are not one dimensional. Funding resources are becoming more diverse and remain susceptible to market volatility. Competition for trained and qualified employees is fierce and, as Fortune magazine reported in its September 2006 issue, by 2016, more than 640,000 new senior managers will be needed to staff a growing nonprofit sector.
Both board members and donors are increasing their demand for greater fiscal accountability from nonprofit leaders while still asking that more be done with less. What’s more, fundraising executives find it is lonely at the top without trusted advisers with whom they can brainstorm, set goals, discuss their anxieties, and work through board and personnel challenges.
Of course there are more challenges that can be mentioned here, but it is already obvious that a not-so-delectable recipe is being concocted from both controllable and non-controllable forces for fundraising leaders to swallow. Often the outcome is the stress and burnout that tend to have an adverse effect on personal and professional well-being, resulting in ineffective leadership. There is no definitive solution, but it can be agreed that preventing such burnout is a desirable alternative.
So how do nonprofit organizations help support their development leaders to maintain their focus and drive in the face of stiff challenges? A look to our colleagues in the private sector may provide a viable option.