(Team) Building Blocks
[Editor's Note: Recently, FundRaising Success Editorial Advisor F. Duke Haddad submitted a story intended to guide development department heads in the tricky process of finding the right people to build a successful fundraising team. It's a straightforward look at the special qualities required to really nail the duties of specific job titles.
It immediately reminded me of a blog post by global fundraising and management guru Bernard Ross that outlined roles that needed to be filled in any organization looking to cultivate change within its ranks to best optimize its fundraising efforts. Bernard is all about shaking up the status quo and not letting anyone, anywhere, get too comfortable. In the ever-changing and challenging landscape that is fundraising today, keeping things fresh is as important a goal as raising specific amounts of money — only not as easily defined.
Because they highlighted the important building blocks in the process of creating a vibrant, high-functioning team, the two stories seemed to be a good fit. — Margaret Battistelli Gardner]
Building Your Fundraising Team
Whether you’re new to a development leadership role or a seasoned executive, you must consider personnel issues. Much like a football coach who takes over a team, think about each part of the organization and how the pieces fit together. A fundraising coach knows that success depends on a total team concept. Each fundraising organization has elements of governance through its board of directors and administration with executive leadership and staff. These various individuals must execute strategic and operational plans for success to occur.
Directing a fundraising team is difficult because, in many cases, staff stability is an unknown. According to a survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the average tenure for a development officer is 18 months, and his or her median salary is upward of $60,000. Many organizations find they cannot afford that payroll expense. At the same time, an individual needs at least one year to completely understand the organization’s history, culture, and key internal and external players. A leader needs time to evaluate the staff makeup to seek a blend of experience, diversity, skills and personalities.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.