As turnover among fundraisers becomes a bigger and bigger cost for charities, two nonprofits are joining forces to figure out what they can do to about it.
CompassPoint, a nonprofit group that provides management advice, and the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund are exploring what they see as a persistent disconnect between what fundraisers do and what executive directors and board members think they should be doing. (See my Chronicle cover story examining those concerns.)
To start, they are conducting a survey of executive directors and fundraisers to shed light on how nonprofits can do a better job of recruiting and keeping fundraisers, says Marla Cornelius, a senior project director at CompassPoint. She and her colleagues are using the survey to test the following hypotheses:
* Executive directors’ misunderstanding about the development profession undermines fundraisers’ success and the organization’s ability to raise money.
* Unrealistic expectations of the fundraising staff’s role contribute to problems in hiring and keeping development directors.
* Executive directors’ low satisfaction with fundraisers’ performance results in higher-than-average turnover among chief development officers.
* Fundraisers are happy in their jobs when they see that their role is valued and perceived as a partnership with the executive directors.
What do you think contributes to fundraiser turnover and what do you think can stop it? Let us know in the comments field and share you thoughts on the survey.
Send an e-mail to Holly Hall.