How to Find and Keep a Great Fundraiser
Pay a real salary
It amazes me how many nonprofits expect to entice a great fundraiser by offering a salary that is comparable to someone with only a few years of experience. If you don’t have the current budget to pay a market rate, raise capacity capital to fund the first one to two years of the position. Once you have a great fundraiser on board, he or she will raise his or her own salary while growing your nonprofit’s overall revenue.
Work with them
It drives me crazy how many times a nonprofit’s lone fundraiser is trying to raise all the money on his or her own. If you are going to align mission and money, you have to make sure that everyone in the organization (board and staff) understands his or her role in bringing money in the door. Create a culture of philanthropy among the staff so that even a staff member who doesn’t have dollar goals in the job description understands that talking to prospects and donors, giving tours, and writing thank-you notes are critical to keeping the organization going. And make sure the board is trained in fundraising, has a give/get requirement, and has specific individual and board money goals.
Hire enough fundraisers
The rule of thumb is that it takes one full-time person to raise $500,000, including anyone who touches prospects and donors (database manager, prospect researcher, etc.). If you are asking a single fundraiser to raise $1.5 million, there is little wonder why your fundraiser is (and you are) miserable.
Give fundraisers tools
Don’t hire a great fundraiser and then fail to give him or her a donor database, an interactive website, marketing materials, prospect research and support. It does no good to hire someone with great ideas but no way to bring those ideas to fruition. If you don’t have the budget for additional support and tools, raise capacity capital to find it.