The Benefit of Longevity
What is the benefit of longevity? This concept takes many forms. If you eventually settle into a city or region where you can secure positions with different organizations, it may work to your benefit. Over time you will learn the funders and needs of the community based on your organization needs. You will also have the benefit of lasting relationships. Whether you interface with board members, volunteers, former staff, donors or others, your path over time will build a book of friendships that may continue to present itself when you least expect it.
I have worked in several positions in the same large town. That said, when I leave a position I leave everything behind. I view each job experience as a work chapter in my life. I leave relationships acquired through prior employers alone unless they happen to reappear in a new position. I believe when we work for an institution we should build relationships for the organization's benefit, not ours. It helps to have a positive relationship with everyone if at all possible.
Recently a former board member of another organization that I worked for years earlier contacted me when he realized I was working for an organization that he also currently supported. He wanted to volunteer for my organization because he enjoyed our previous engagement.
In another recent visit I met a current donor who had served with me on a volunteer organization many years earlier. As a result of our past involvement, which she enjoyed, she wanted to renew this connection going forward.
I have other examples, but the point is when you have a long career you create a database of contacts, many of whom you have long since forgotten. If you're lucky, you may reconnect with people from your past and start the engagement process all over again with a fresh start.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.