Finding and Hiring Great Fundraising Staff – Part 1

MCj04396130000[1]In preparing to work with a new client, we started talking about how we can find the right, best person to lead their development work. I get calls all the time from job seekers and those looking for great fundraisers. I match up folks whenever I can.

When looking for development staff, beyond their obvious fundraising/sales chops – I am assuming they can raise money or sell or we wouldn’t be talking to them(!) – I look for fit. Just because they raised a lot of money, doesn’t mean they are right for your agency. I always recommend careful interviewing:

  • To make sure you are seeing the real person
  • Determine this is someone with whom you want to work very closely
  • They fit the culture of your organization

Similar to tweeting – we need to get to the real, authentic and transparency (RAT) of the person.

Here is what I look for in a great development person with or without non-profit experience.

  • Flexibility/Ability to think on their feet
    • Problem solvers
    • Can usually talk to anyone about anything
    • Ability and willingness to shift direction
    • Step in and help without regard to position
    • Go off plan if necessary
    • Resourcefulness
  • Ability to communicate effectively 
    • In person, on the phone and in writing
    • In a group and with individuals
    • Professionally in a presentation
    • Casually at a reception
  • Team player
    • Understands how and when to lead or follow
    • Thinks of others needs
    • Ability to support individual and team needs

In Part 2 – Interviewing Processes to Get to the Authenticity of a Candidate.

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