Today's labor environment - the Great Resignation, Great Reshuffle, or whatever you call it - poses challenges for nonprofit leaders that they have seen before. For example, nonprofits have historically higher staff turnover rates, and hiring to fill those positions has remained a prominent adversary.
However, this job market also presents many nonprofits with an opportunity. Many workers are leaving their positions searching for a more fulfilling career in different industries or at organizations that align with their personal beliefs. This puts nonprofits at a unique advantage to welcome new fundraisers that are potentially new to the space.
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Ramping up a team of new fundraisers can be a challenge. But hiring with your team's success in mind will prove to pay dividends if done correctly. Here's what to keep in mind when hiring for the future:
1. Focus on leadership
Since there is a good chance some of your new fundraisers will be new to the job, it's critical to have good hands-on leaders – leaders who are solid mentors, coaches, and advisers. These leaders are the ones out front, leading by example while providing feedback to newer employees.
Strong leaders rely on metrics and performance data to evaluate their team members. Gift officers should understand precisely how and why they are evaluated. In addition, they should know how their actions impact the organization's mission. Make sure you communicate how their actions impact the organization's bottom line. As revenue-facing roles, their time and focus are paramount.
Additionally, great leaders cultivate a team atmosphere of camaraderie and competition. They celebrate small wins and big wins, whether it's securing a meeting with a lapsed donor or securing a significant commitment.
It's far better to over-hire than to under-hire, which is why recruiting is critical to building a fundraising team. It would be best if you had a constant flow of candidates to compile your A-team, and over-hiring will ultimately bring in more money than you will save by under-hiring.
Nonprofits, in particular, notoriously face retention and fit issues, and as a result, find themselves in need of new candidates more often than not. By over-staffing, you can account for fundraiser attrition without the risk of operating with a lean team while being held accountable for lofty goals.
Daily, weekly, and monthly training is essential to your BDRs' success. Start with the fundraising fundamentals; chances are, they are already well-versed in your mission since they chose to work there.
Fundraising best practices are constantly evolving to meet donors' needs. Constant training may overwhelm new gift officers but will ultimately prepare them for situations they will need to navigate. Even though certain trainings may seem redundant, it can be helpful to remind your team to keep them on track.
4. Define career paths
The last thing any new employee wants to hear is that their new job won't provide any growth opportunities. Being transparent about career paths within your organization will enhance your recruitment efforts and increase your retention of great fundraisers. Career paths, and the objectives to achieve a career path, should be clearly established and documented. Celebrate promotions within the team and the company to motivate your new hires to do their best work in hopes of a promotion for themselves.
Looking for more ways to build a successful fundraising team? Check out Gravyty's guide to seamless fundraising onboarding and see for yourself how to effectively hire, train, and retain your best employees. Download for free today: