…than cheap labor!

Fundraisers are some of the most influential individuals in donors’ major gift decision making. That’s why you need the right person for the job. There are tons of “nice” fundraisers. In fact, most will be pleasant and charismatic. But really great fundraisers will possess a combination of strong character, natural curiosity, determination, organizational skills, integrity, adaptability and desire to learn and grow.

As you prepare for an executive search, consider the following:

Start with the organization’s culture and mission to create a clear job description

First, ensure the nonprofit has a clear vision for the future, and seek to hire a fundraiser who is determined to make that vision a reality. Develop a job description that outlines the specific requirements needed. Be upfront about the required skills, experience and qualifications required, along with work expectations, salary and benefits.

Consider the cover letter as a “first impression”

One of the most important qualities you should consider is how the candidate will advocate for the nonprofit’s mission. Based on the cover letter, does it appear the candidate understands the mission? Have they done their homework? Do they have connections with the mission?

Develop your questions to uncover more information

Especially for the second interview, create questions that allow the fundraiser to give you specific examples of their fundraising experience. Find out how they use research. Ask how they track and organize their goals. Then, listen for what they do and don’t say.

There is a lot of competition for hiring great fundraisers. If this sounds like a daunting task, consider seeking the help of a professional team to conduct your next executive search. The cost is well worth it when you consider the time it takes to conduct a search and the cost associated with hiring the wrong fundraiser.

Janell J. Johnson, MPA
Executive Vice President