Recruiting the best people for your organisation is stating the obvious, but are you doing it? It is very easy to restrict your search by a person’s experience with other charities.
The most important thing you need to focus on is how good will they be at raising money for your charity? Your charity is unique, and has completely different challenges to other organisations. In other words don’t fall into the trap of putting people into pigeon holes. Always focus on the skills needed to be an effective fundraiser. Remember without fundraisers many charities would simply not be able to function, and some would close down. Why would you risk the charity’s future on recruiting less than the best? That person could well be in the charity sector or maybe they have been extremely successful in the private sector and now want to move over and apply their sales skills to raising money for your charity.
There a few universal skills that every fundraiser needs to have, regardless of whether you are recruiting for a Trust fundraiser, Corporate or Major Gift fundraiser.
The two most important skills any fundraiser should have is great research skills and a desire to pick up the phone? Why, because so many fundraisers don’t. Instead they resort to the comfort of an email hoping for a response. Finding quality research skills and sales skills in one person is not easy.
It’s not easy because these skills are normally found in two different types of people. This is probably why some large charities will have a researcher and a front desk fundraiser that can make the initial contact and follow through. However, if you cannot afford both, you really need to make sure that a 60/40 rule applies. That is 60 percent front desk sales skills, 40 percent research skills. This will mean a trust fundraiser will be calling up the administrators and talking with confidence about the charity and projects and a corporate fundraiser who has the art of persuasion and great presentation skills will be doing the same with CSR managers, marketing or charity managers. Did I mention fundraising is equivalent to sales? Well it is, even though so many people hate that term. We shouldn’t hate it, we should embrace it.
So what else? Having a strong pipeline, great organisational skills and being persistent are all essential. There is one other essential requirement. They must have real passion for what the charity is aiming to do. If they don’t have that they will be far less effective and probably won’t stay around too long.
None of this is rocket science, but it’s easy to neglect the importance of great selling and communication skills.
If you would like to find out how our team can support you in making sure you recruit the right person, please contact Tina on the contact page and she will be able to put you in touch with one of our consultants who would be happy to help.