In The War For Fundraising Talent, I asserted that in many ways the future of the fundraising profession will reveal an increasing divide between those professionals who can effectively accomplish their goals and those who cannot. I believe this divide will be most evident in the professional’s ability to understand herself and the organizational culture in which she operates. Even before an initial interview, employers and employees alike will become increasingly savvy in forecasting a successful relationship.

The four planning models in The Fundraising Talent Toolbox were designed to allow fundraising professionals and their employers an opportunity to visualize how highly-effective fundraising really works. Each model is designed to ensure that three objectives are consistently achieved.

  • First and foremost, we want to ensure that everyone shares a common understanding of highly-effective fundraising practice in advance of any permanent hiring decisions. This means aligning the board, volunteers, management team, staff and volunteers with an understanding of their roles and responsibilities in fundraising, where and how they can make the greatest contributions, and where they can complement the strengths of others.

  • Increasing fundraising capacity requires that organizational leaders be able to discern between trivial, meaningful and significant levels of giving. The organization’s fundraising philosophy must be informed by a commitment to fewer donors, more meaningful engagement, and direct solicitation. These three deliberate practices are the foundation of a highly effective and successful fundraising program.

  • Finally, we want to ensure the organization’s ability to identify, train, and retain high-capacity fundraising talent. This begins with understanding the type of individual that will best serve in this role; clearly articulating their goals and objectives; and providing consistent, constructive feedback.