You may have noticed that there is a dearth of fundraising professionals. Where are they? And how do
you find them? This article tries to explain the problem and a few ways you can proactively deal with it.
All the best,
Where Have All the Fundraisers Gone?
You've probably said, or heard your colleagues say, that
good professional fundraisers are hard to find.
That's true, they are.
The Association of Professional Fundraisers (AFP) has
27,000 members, the Council for Support and Advancement of Education (CASE)
serves 47,000 individuals who make up the fundraising staff of its member
educational institutions. The
Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) is made up of 3,900 members.
Allowing for overlap among the groups, there are about
70,000 people in the United States
who consider fund raising their profession and are serious enough about their
commitment to join a professional association.
There are 733,971 registered nonprofits in the US (this number includes organizations with budgets $25,000 and under) and out of the total only
annual budgets of $500,000 or higher--the budget level at which many
organizations consider adding a professional fundraiser to staff.
It's pretty clear that there are less fundraisers than
organizations needing them. And there's
even worse news: Scads of baby-boomers
who populate fundraising positions will be leaving their jobs in the next 5-10 years,
either to lie on a beach or to go into consulting.
What can nonprofits
- Get smarter about
hiring. Make the job more enticing,
target the right candidates, and recruit people who are doing well in their
existing positions. Get help if you
don't have the time to recruit and hire intelligently. For self-help, you can use Capability
Company's fr-ee How to Hire Workbook for Nonprofits--found here.
- Encourage young
people and nontraditional candidates to enter the field. Mentor,
encourage and support young people and people who are changing careers from for-profit. Listen to their needs and give them
interesting and challenging assignments. Affiliate with American
Humanics, a national program that helps students who want to get into nonprofit work.
- Treat your younger employees with respect. Young people who are just entering the workforce
can afford to be picky. They won't stick
around for long if they are asked to do only low-level tasks, aren't paid well
and don't have much responsibility. Why
should they when there are so many opportunities available to them?
If you are proactive now in addressing the shortage of
fundraisers, present and future, you'll soon be naming a building, not closing one.
By Rebecca L. Worters