Monday, July 2, 2012

For A Chief Development Officer, Support Is Key

There's no question that the chief development officer (CDO) of a nonprofit is very important to the fundraising of that organization. This individual is unlikely to have as much of an impact, however, without the assistance of a great support staff.

Steve Klingman wrote in his book, "Fundraising Strategies for Community Colleges," that assistants for CDOs are just as important as the CDO himself. He argued that nonprofits should spend a good deal of energy looking for a great support staff.

So what qualifications should an organization seek for this role? Klingman suggested asking the following questions when assessing candidates:
  • Does the assistant understand development?
  • Does the assistant know the organization’s donors?
  • Are there any underlying performance issues?
  • Does the assistant possess the necessary skill sets?
  • Does the assistant have command of the hundreds of details for which the CDO will be held responsible?
  • Is the assistant proficient in using all of the organization’s software platforms?
  • Do acknowledgment letters go out within 24 hours of receiving funds?
  • Can the assistant perform data entry into the organization’s database, construct queries and run reports efficiently?
  • Are gifts entered daily?
  • Are bank deposits made at least once a week?
  • Do complex assignments seem to be put off indefinitely?
  • What does the assistant need?
  • Are the assistant’s duties reflected in an accurate job description?
  • Is the assistant responsible for the organization’s accounting? If so, plan to change that.

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