Article by Matt Hugg

With the economy getting tighter and the costs of hiring growing, more and more I get the question, “What are the top three things our organization needs to do to hire and keep an effective fundraiser?” I could list twenty, but boiling it down to three …

  1. Know what kind of fundraising you want to do. Despite what you may think or want, nobody can do everything. Yet trying to do everything, especially when “everything” includes a lot that someone doesn’t naturally do well, is a major reason why fundraisers quickly become ineffective. So ask yourself “What three (at most) kinds of fundraising does our organization want to be wildly successful at doing?” Hire for the skills and personality that will make those three happen.
  2. Commit to being busier, not less. The bad news for some people is that after they hire a fundraiser, suddenly the fundraiser wants them to do more work. “Hey, I hired this guy to cut my workload, not increase it!” Sorry, but you’re wrong. If your new hire is worth his or her paycheck, she or he is out there leveraging your contacts and putting you in places where you can be the most help — and that means more of your time.
  3. Commit to being more focused, not less. The good news is that while you’ll be busier (along with all your fellow board members and executive staff), your work in fundraising will be more focused and, therefore, more productive: there will be more money in your door — so you may not mind being busier!

There’s much more, but if you get these three right, you’re well on your way to bringing in a fundraiser who will be effective, make you happy, and stay a while.