Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nonprofits Development Directors: "Take This Job And . . . "

A surprising new report, discussed in this Los Angeles Times article today suggests that the primary impediment to charitable fundraising is that Directors of Development hate their jobs. 

A key finding is that half the chief fundraisers -- or “development directors” as they're known in the nonprofit world -- expect to leave their current jobs within two years due to an assortment of pressures, including a frequent feeling that they’re out on a limb because they're expected to produce results without having enough backup from bosses and boards that haven’t managed to put effective, systematic fundraising plans and approaches in place. Only 58% of the development directors rated their organizations’ fundraising as “effective” or “very effective,” compared with 83% of the chief executives, and nearly a third of the fundraisers said they’d been given “unrealistic” goals. Their average annual pay ranged from $49,141 at organizations with budgets under $1 million to $100,127 when budgets exceeded $10 million.

The report suggests that organizations typically leave the dirty job of asking for donations to one person and then put a lot of pressure on that one person to produce results.  Seems a silly complaint if  you ask me.  After all, every Development Director I have known claim to be experts in, well, raising money!  And most places actually discourage others in the organization from making money and charitable contribution pitches, lest they inadvertently bombard the target with multiple or conflicting messages.  Or maybe its just that when Development Directors cultivate a potential benefactor and  are ready to reel that benefactor in, they don't get the support from the top person they need.  Its that top person, ultimately, that closes the deal after all.






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