Skip to main content

Recruiting Tip: Your Next Nonprofit Fundraising Team Search

The way we used to find new talent may not be the best way.

I recently completed another search for a nonprofit looking for their next fundraising team member. It was a wonderful experience and this search, along with f foourr fundraising leads at other nonprofits, reminded me that we in the nonprofit world are consistently challenged with finding new talent.

If you’re at a nonprofit and feeling this, you’re not alone.

Depending on the data you’re reading, up to half of those in nonprofit fundraising want to leave their job within the next year.

If you are looking to add to your nonprofit fundraising team, here are some suggestions based on the searches I have done for clients in the past six months. I hope they are helpful.

First, unless you have done this recently, re-write your job description. In too many cases the same job description from ten years ago is still being used. Bring it into the 21st century. Make sure everything you want in this position is clear in the job description. And of course, include the salary.

Keep all of your urgencies, concerns, and challenges in mind when writing about what you want this person to be accountable for. Clarity helps you get interest from the right potential candidates.

Be specific in expectations and goals. Be realistic. In nonprofit fundraising, it is rare for a new fundraiser to come on board and create miracles. If you have been unable to double the amount raised from donors in the past five years, the new person will not be able to do that in six months.

In listing your requirements, I have found it unnecessary to include any type of college education. The biggest value comes from actual experience in nonprofit fundraising. There are some roles outside of fundraising that can prepare one for success, but actual experience matters. A lot.

Lastly, be sure to express your desire that you hope to find a candidate who has deep passion with, or history in, your mission. Nothing is stronger than a candidate who has a few years of donor relationship building experience plus a heart and soul full of your mission.

Take your time. Create telling interview questions. Keep in touch with candidates so they have a good feel about your organization.

I wish you the best in your next search.

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

Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for Dan's Tips!