Fundraising Forum: State of the Sector, Part 2
Kurt: Truth is, we all talk about two things in our sector: planned giving and give/gets for our boards — and few of us do either.
Jo: But if your bylaws don’t support giving minimums or the like — and the boards don’t want to vote to change all that stuff — then you are in a Catch-22, right?
Kurt: You know the most important component of our board-development strategy at Boys & Girls Clubs? We required new board members to promise that BGCA would be their primary charitable interest while serving on the board. People told us we were nuts [but] now you can’t get on that board.
Polly: Overall experience level of fundraisers in the business is a real challenge.
Kurt: And that’s the second problem — good people ain’t out there. I wish I could name five people I would recommend for a high-level, comprehensive development position. And for cause marketing? Forget it.
Roger: Yes, leadership generally in our sector is a problem.
Margaret: Kurt, you’re painting a bleak picture. How do we turn this around? There’s been some debate over the usefulness of specific college-degree programs in fundraising. Is that the way to go?
Jo: Let’s not forget — we are still raising billions with all these negatives … and changing the fate of a lot in our sector!
Polly: What can we do as an industry to improve the education of our fundraisers? Conferences are good — but to be honest, I’ve been underwhelmed by the quality of some of the program content.
Kurt: Training. Where do you go to learn now? AFP? CFRE? Cause Marketing Forum?
Margaret: Do nonprofits have to attract more corporate-side talent?
Kurt: My experience with corporate talent is they get frustrated easily with our lack of resources. They’re used to just buying what they need. They also don’t understand the fact that our customer and consumer are two different people most of the time. It’s a long, hard transition.