It's increasingly rare these days to find people who are not only successful at fundraising, but also have enthusiasm for it. That's why, if you hired someone with those traits, it's so important to do everything in your power to keep them. How do you go about improving fundraiser retention? It's a difficult task, no doubt, but it can be done.
The NonProfit Times attended this year's AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Speaking at that conference was Penelope Burke, president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. She had some ideas on how you can best go about keeping your most valuable fundraisers:
- Be flexible on your salary and benefits. If they are that good at what they do, they deserve to be rewarded. Doing this also means you can be even more insistent on bottom-line results.
- Allow your fundraisers to work independently. You should check in on them from time to time get updates on their progress, but make sure you are not breathing down their necks.
- Value their input. Taking a suggestion to heart is one of the best things a nonprofit manager can do to show your employees that they are being listened to. It's also a great way to make them want to continue to work for you.
- On a related note, make sure to publicly credit staff when they come up with a good idea.
- Looking for a new senior fundraiser? Consider promoting from within rather than hiring a brand new employee. This will improve employee morale and eliminates the need for extensive orientation periods.