Pursuant to yesterday’s post about the dire state of the fundraising field, I want to offer some tips that I posted on LinkedIn yesterday..
Before you take a job in nonprofit fundraising (and there are lots of vacant jobs out there!) or hire a fundraiser, do the following.
1. Confirm the nonprofit organization warmly embraces the need to fundraise. For an organization to succeed in fundraising, it has to view asking for money as a beautiful partnership between people who work to make the world a better place – and those who join in helping them.
2. Ensure the organization sees fundraising as everyone’s job – as reflected in the way the leadership, board and staff collaboratively support and coordinate with the development director. Together, they set and hold themselves collectively accountable for goals.
3. Make sure the fundraiser is well trained – or can get trained. A huge problem is that many fundraisers aren’t qualified for the job. One in four executive directors (24%) in the CompassPoint report said their development directors have no experience or are novice at “current and prospective donor research.” Among the smallest nonprofits, the number was 32%. If you’re a fundraiser, get well trained. And if you’re a nonprofit, hire qualified people or invest in turning your fundraisers into qualified people by paying for them to get the help they need to do their job.
One last, critical thought: All nonprofits and fundraisers must invest in treating donors like partners, thanking them regularly and conscientiously reporting on the impact they had. That’s the way to fix the grim donor attrition problem we have.
We have a lot of work to do in our field. We’d better start now – the good of the world is truly at stake.