Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Growing your own talent

Many non-profits lament the fact that there are not enough fundraising professionals in their local area and that attracting talent to their organization is difficult. I challenge this by asking "are you willing to invest in the position and the person you bring on board?"

I see many aspiring up and comers leave the profession because organizations feel they don't have the funds to invest in their professional development. If someone has the qualities you are looking for, is passionate about your cause but lacks experience, consider engaging a consultant to be their mentor. The consultant can tailor the learning experience to fill in the knowledge gaps. You may argue that sending them to conferences and workshops is cheaper, but the ability of the consultant to customize will actually provide a better return on investment. The result will be a more confident and knowledgeable fundraiser.

Invest also in the tools needed for effective fundraising - a database, a laptop computer and a smartphone. That way your fundraiser is not chained to their desk when they should be out meeting with donors.

Laura Mikuska
Fund Development and Event Specialists

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