Staffing & Human Resources
I've been asked to define the characteristics of a successful fundraising professional. To answer this question, I've thought about my own experience, the success of my peers and people I admire, and I've listened to what other experts in the field have said on this topic.
Here's the compilation of these ideas, which I hope will help attract new people to the fundraising profession, remind people now in the field what it takes to succeed, and help executive directors and boards recruit talented fundraisers.
Forty-five percent of nonprofits plan to add jobs this year, about the same share that created new positions in 2013, finds a survey. As the economy continues to improve, nonprofits are not only adding jobs but are increasingly avoiding layoffs: Only 7 percent intend to eliminate positions this year. The study of 413 organizations was conducted by Nonprofit HR, a human-resources consulting firm, and the Improve Group, a consultancy whose clients include charities.
While nonprofits may be structured differently than for-profit businesses, there are some elements they have in common such as business needs for operational efficiencies, processes and sustained results. Like any business, in order for a nonprofit to be effective in its operation it must have the necessary funds and the staff in place who believes in the organization, its mission and its vision.
Executive directors often ask me for help with hiring the right development officer. Make sure you check out my previous column, which outlines the process. Now, here are interview questions for finding your next fundraiser. Remember to alternate the general questions with the fundraising questions, and remember to assign different questions to different members of the interview team.
Executive directors often ask me how to select the right candidate to serve as the chief development officer. Here are some tips: 1. Distinguish between a development officer and an administrative support person. 2. Craft a darn good job description. 3. You have to hire someone who possesses the documented body of knowledge in fund development and demonstrates real-world experience. 4. In addition to expertise and experience in fund development, think about what you expect in anyone who holds a senior level position.
Put yourself in the other person's shoes, and you may enhance your perception and improve your skills as a manager!
Hiring the right frontline fundraiser(s) for your nonprofit can literally make or break your development program. Yet, so many organizations have no idea how to find great fundraisers for their teams. Instead, they look at “help wanted” posts on The Chronicle of Philanthropy and try to duplicate the requirements. I want to discuss in detail how your nonprofit can find — and hire — great frontline fundraisers for your team.
You may lose some staff due to proactive changes, but you must think about the institutional direction going forward.
Here are some of the signs that give fakers away, so you can avoid the costly mistake of shackling yourself to a faker when you need a fundraiser.
Having had the opportunity to work with nonprofits that hit huge growth periods and those that wanted to and talked about it but could never achieve that takeoff, I offer the following observations.