2013 Job Descriptions for Fundraising
The beginning of a new year, like the start of a new job, is a good time to decide what matters and where you want to focus your energies. It seems to be the norm in nonprofits to have too much to get done and too few qualified people to help out. So we have to make compromises to survive (and hopefully thrive).
To help you make 2013 the best year possible for fundraising, here are some of the shortest — and most practical — job descriptions you'll find for many of the things and people that matter in fundraising.
Carrier envelope: Its job is to get opened (and to hold the contents in place, but we'll assume that's a given). The only reason for a teaser on it is to increase the likelihood of it getting opened. The only reason not to use a teaser (or a photo or illustration) is to increase the likelihood of it getting opened. Would someone who isn't your colleague or your mother actually open that envelope? If not, it's failed in its job.
Ditto on the e-mail subject line. Its job is to get the recipient to open the e-mail. Getting through spam filters is essential, of course. But if it passes that test only to be so uninteresting or predictable that it goes right into the delete folder, it's failed in its job.
Copy: The job of the copy is to be read and to drive people to take action (i.e., give a gift). How long should your copy be? Long enough to get the job done. That may be two paragraphs, or it may be six pages. Neither is better. The best is the copy that drives readers to make a gift.
Design: The task of the design is to make people want to read the copy. It's not about winning design awards or having the most creative look. Design has to make reading the copy (that leads to giving the gift) easier and more enjoyable. Choose a font, type size, design elements and photos that help move you to that goal. Otherwise it's just art. We want action, not awards.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.