Organizations are trying their best to make do with less resources. Maybe you noticed your own reductions in:
- Time without their families around
- Clothing that fits
Even if you are making do with less, the need for your services has not decreased. We all want to help as many people as possible through the pandemic whether it’s providing food, arts/entertainment, or spiritual comfort. You may even know that you need to increase resources for your nonprofit, but you can’t/won’t/are afraid to hire.
Fundraising is essential
Fundraising cannot hold off until herd immunity is a reality. Bottom line is that to raise more money, your need to increase resources for your nonprofit. Particularly staff to do the work. Whether you are holding off on hiring based on budgetary cuts, furloughs, or unfilled positions, nonprofits are more under-staffed than usual. But organizations have options.
Staffing options to help you increase resources for your nonprofit
We can, of course, help with an executive search. But, if hiring in this current environment is too overwhelming financially, mentally, or time-wise, consider interim placement from Mersky, Jaffe & Associates.
We can bridge the gap to help you:
- Keep your fundraising on track until you decide your next hire (or until that person is hired)
- Create a development or stewardship plan for 2021
- Execute your existing fundraising and stewardship plan
- Help oversee and deploy volunteers to keep them engaged and motivated to strengthen your nonprofit
- Analyze your current fundraising strengths and weaknesses and help you develop a model to move forward
- Be the leader, support, and/or hands your nonprofit needs to raise the necessary funds during the pandemic
We understand that it’s hard to determine your staffing needs when you don’t know what the world will look like in six months. That is why interim staff helps fulfill your needs on a contract basis without added costs of employing someone and increasing your long-term expense. Let’s set up a time to talk about how we can help you raise more money in 2021.
Read more on Interim Placement
Interim Placement (also known as Fractional Employment)
Furloughs and layoffs are everywhere, and nonprofits are no exception. But, since you still have a mission to fulfill and services to offer, volunteers offer an interesting opportunity. There are, potentially, more people available, but less time to train, track, and collect volunteers. Sometimes it feels like you need to babysit volunteers. But what if you could look at these prospective free workers like you would consider childcare.
Before we get into the details of the 5 types of Pandemic Volunteers, you need to do a bit of work.
Start by considering what you are not getting done. Then, think about what you are doing that could be done by somebody else (if that person were reliable.) And lastly, how much internal knowledge is required for each task.
Now, consider the 5 types of Pandemic Volunteers:
- Mother’s helper is someone who needs specific tasks but may need to ask a lot of questions, at least at first, to learn the ropes. The good news is if the task continues, they will get better and better. This could be a teenager looking for something to do when camp is cancelled or a volunteer who isn’t always super reliable, but you want to keep interested and connected.
Since you don’t know how much this person will achieve, consider small tasks with short deadlines. A mother’s helper could clean out closets that got left mid-semester or prep materials for your re-opening. Printing, photocopying, and collating are also possibilities.
- Babysitter is someone with some experience, needs guidance for expectations on a regular basis but is mostly independent. Each “babysitter” will come with some expertise that you may be able to use.
For instance, someone who knows Excel can create a list of all current and lapsed $250 donors and provide the lists to “Night Sitters,” “Camp Counselors,” and “Camp Directors.”
- Night sitter is someone who can keep things going and is independent after an initial explanation. This person is used to jumping into new situations and can give you the confidence to sleep through the night because the job is getting done.
A night sitter has been a volunteer for you and/or other organizations and can do things like make calls on your behalf. Provide a script and a list of contacts and that person can help you steward mid-level and entry-level donors while you focus on major donors.
- Camp counselor is someone who can rally the troops and is ready for leadership responsibilities, meaningful tasks, and whom you know is reliable. They may have volunteered or worked with you in the past or can demonstrate their expertise.
Camp counselors can replace you to offer trainings to “night sitters,” “babysitters,” and “mother’s helpers.” And they can be the resource for most questions that would stop other volunteers from moving forward. They can help you steward higher-level donors.
- Camp Director is someone who can act as an employee or colleague. They have the skills that you would hire, if you had the money and time. They can supervise for you, explain tasks to others, organize volunteers and staff alike, have specific skills that you are missing, and are 100% reliable.
Camp directors can help you make sure the trains are running on time. They are volunteers who can help with marketing your services, provide human resource advice, and financial and/or fundraising expertise. You may even rely on these people already. The one problem is that this skill set is hard to find in a volunteer and may have to be a hired as an Interim (aka Fractional) Placement. It would be less expensive than a full-time employee because they could be an independent contractor, but will still add to your costs.
If you would like help thinking through your volunteer strategy, click here to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.
This past year, 3 associates at Mersky, Jaffe & Associates provided interim Development Professionals placement, as Interim Executive/Fractional Employees, for clients. The impact varied, as did the amount of time each associate spent with the organization, but each helped the nonprofit move forward during times of transition. How?
- Interim Placement/Fractional Employment for a Vice President of Development: One Associate worked on-site, full time for 5 months to replace a development director who had to be let go, suddenly. The Associate supervised existing staff, provided strategic direction for the development department, and participated as member of senior management of the agency.
- Interim Placement/Fractional Employment for an Executive Director: Another acted as the interim executive director for a nonprofit for 3.5 months. The Associate raised money, oversaw disbursement of funds to the organization in Israel, and managed stewardship and donor relations. In addition, the person supported the board in the work it was doing to raise funds and acknowledge gifts.
- Interim Placement/Fractional Employment for a soon to be hired Director of Development: A third Associate served a nonprofit for 4 months, part-time, to set up the organization to dramatically grow its development and fundraising. With a small, relatively new to development staff in the current department, the Associate served as mentor, guide to best practices, all while helping to develop needed systems and strategies that would help attract a new hire. In the meantime, MJA simultaneously conducted an executive search and worked with the board to enhance its governance processes and institute term-limits, new ways of electing board members, and increase board member engagement.
Three very different roles, but they all have something in
common. The nonprofits were able to continue to grow, fundraise and develop
relationships during transitions. Expected, or unexpected change can cause
chaos, or you can utilize your resources to keep fundraising and development
momentum in your organization.
If you think you need a fractional/interim development director or fractional/interim executive director, Mersky, Jaffe & Associates can help. Call Abigail Harmon at 800.361.8689 X3.
To learn more about an Executive Search with MJA click here.