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Fundraising Tip: Hiring a Nonprofit Fundraising Professional

Adding to your fundraising team takes time and thoughfulness.

I have worked with a few clients in the last year helping them find their next fundraising staff member.

One thing that becomes very clear right away with each search is to take your time with the search, including the planning fo the search and the onboarding after the search.

Many nonprofits haven’t looked at a position’s job description since the last time they hired that position. Others have simply copy and pasted a past position into a new one, adding a few details.

My suggestion is to start from scratch. Keep the intro and perhaps the benefits (if they’re the same), and then dive into a whole new description.

What does this position look like day to day, and what experiences would one need to excel in all of your expectations around it?

Take a deep look into the position, and make the description as transparent and as clear as possible.

Make sure you share the salary range on the job description.

Share the job description far on wide. Ask your board and community members to share it. I find it very easy to share these on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Some nonprofits hire a consultant or company to assist in the hiring. If you do this, remember to hire someone who is going to embrace your values and mission while representing you to candidates.

I like to respond to every valid candidate who applies, meaning any candidate who has what we have asked for in regards to experience and passion. It’s nice to honor people who are applying to work with you with a response.

First interviews can be a phone call and one person from your team. Second is a Zoom call with that same person and someone else, and the third is in-person with the same two. This is of course different depending on the position. For example, if hiring the top fundraiser, you may want board members involved in the interview process.

Move quickly. Those applying to you are applying elsewhere. If you meet a candidate you are quite interested in, set up their next interview as soon as possible.

I have done several nonprofit fundraising team searches and one nonprofit CEO search in the last year, so if you have any questions, just let me know.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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