Lately, I have heard about multiple nonprofit organizations who don’t have enough fundraising staff support. This can play out in a lot of ways:
- inconsistent response times
- lack of donor stewardship
- fewer offerings
- using volunteers to cover needs
- late mailings
- angered constituents
- skipped events
- and/or lost opportunities
Surprisingly, the reason for the lack of staffing is not always money. It can stem from something as simple as not knowing what staff you need to handle the workflow of the agency in its current configuration (this is often the case after a reorganization). Other times nonprofits don’t have enough fundraising staff support when someone leaves and replacing him/her feels like plugging a leaky bucket that keeps springing new holes. No one had any idea what the person actually did every day, anyway.
Of course, lack of staffing almost always results in less money raised. Every late mailing or stewardship meeting that didn’t happen will reduce support now and into the future.
If you have read this far, you are probably don’t have enough fundraising staff support and wondering what to do about it. Here are a few options:
- Engage Mersky, Jaffe & Associates to conduct an Organizational and Development Assessment. This service can help you define your strengths and needs as well as save you money over time by fully utilizing your staff and their skills. This is also very helpful when presenting your need to increase staff to the board.
- Perform the following exercise:
- ask each person in the administrative office to write down what they could achieve if they could magically add 20 additional hours per week.
- ask each person in the administrative office to write down 3-5 items they wish someone else could take on so that they could achieve more in the “core” areas of their job.
- Ask the supervisor to list all areas that are under-performing due to staffing constraints
- Consider the costs of one new part-time person and one full-time person. Generalize – don’t waste too much time on this part of the exercise.
- Compare what you could achieve with these additional costs – what is it worth to you?
Raising more money this year will require additional support from staff. If you are not willing to chart a new path to success, don’t complain when results do not.
Read the overview from this series by clicking here
Read Chapter 1: Solicitation, Acknowledgement, and Stewardship Systems
Read Chapter 2: A Stronger Fundraising and Development Committee