Archive for September, 2017

Development professionals, like physicians, are either generalists or specialists.

With few exceptions, no hire is more important to a nonprofit organization than the individuals tasked with keeping the money flowing: the development team. Yet, the average length of employment for a development professional is 277 days. Why is this? A study from CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Hass, Jr. Fund, “Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising” found that 25% of respondents with development directors on staff had fired their most recent development director. Half of chief development officers plan to quit within 2 years. Why the revolving door? Although leadership, strategy and structural fundraising issues are frequently at fault, there is another reason often overlooked: leaders lump too many skill sets into one job description. Development professionals, like physicians, are either generalists or specialists. Understanding the difference is important—in experience, focus, and pay. Are you cramming too many skills into your job descriptions? If so, you are setting the candidate and your organization up for failure. Who are Development GENERALISTS and what should they do? Chief Development Officer A Chief Development Officer should have at least a ten year track record of stewardship, solicitation, board development, strategic planning, donor relations, leadership, and management skills. The…

Recruiting for a Diverse, Multicultural Team

No one wants to believe that they or their company has bias, especially nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to do social good. But, it happens. Conscious or unconscious bias reduces your openness to people who are different from you, and in turn, can dramatically affect your hiring process. Research over the past eleven years has repeatedly demonstrated a tilted field in nonprofit hiring, especially in senior executive and development level positions. Despite this knowledge, the percentages have shown little movement. So instead of rehashing the statistics, we’re offering some immediate, introductory steps that can improve diversity within your nonprofit organization now. These steps don’t require a major financial investment. They do, however, require sustained commitment from top leadership. We recommend that you start with identifying your own biases, and have your team do the same. The Implicit Association Tests cover topics including age, gender, sexuality and disability. You’ll find it at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/selectatest.html. To learn more, please download Recruiting for a Diverse, Multicultural Team: An Introductory Executive Action Blueprint for Nonprofits. Introductory steps to overcome bias in hiring and to build a more diverse workforce Identify, commit and prioritize a culture of diversity and inclusion. Picture what your current workforce looks…