Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Making the right hire

Before I begin about my thoughts around hiring for your fundraising team, please remember that I a  fundraiser. I am not a recruiter or a human resources person.

I do, however, hire people. I hire people to be part of an elite fundraising team.

So here are some thoughts:

The hiring process begins long before there is an open position. Whenever I meet people out and about who I think would make an incredible part of my team and seem passionate about the cause, I stay in touch with them and add them to my "back pocket" list. We all meet people who intrigue us or who we constantly here are doing incredible things in fundraising. So start that list.

Keep you job descriptions up to date. This is crucial. Make sure that the position you are putting out there matches the actual day-to-day expectations of the position. Job duties should match for sure.

Be very clear in your job posting. If you need someone to rock with corporate giving, make sure that is clear in what you post. It's also nice to put if the position is 9 -5 only or if occasional evening/weekend work is required.

Look at your budget with your team and see how the new person could support what you are trying to accomplish.

Start with ten-minute phone interviews. If you have a human resources person, take advantage of their expertise when creating questions.

Once you have a list for in-person interviews think of two others who might be able to do the interviews with you. Consider someone on your team and consider a program person.

In-person interviews are very important. Do not start preparing five minutes before. If you do, you are doing a disservice to you, your team, your agency and those you serve. Remember that you are looking for an individual to help your team go to new levels. Invest in the process. I will also add here that it is important for me to use the same questions for each candidate and to do each interview with the same co-workers.

If you have any past negative experiences in hiring, keep those in mind when interviewing. Be frank. Be clear about performance and expectations. Dig deep into your candidate's past experiences so you have a clear picture of what they can bring to your team.

With final interviews, it's great to include five minutes with the ED/CEO and/or someone on senior staff.

Finally, remember that the longer a future employee stays on your team and the more they bring to your team the better off everyone will be. Take your time.

Thanks so much for reading.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tips for the fundraising professional's job search

I am on day 14 in Los Angeles.

A quick personal note (which I try to stay away from on my fundraising blog): We moved here after years of wanting to be in southern California for the warmer climate, the culture, the food and of course to be able to surf more often!

Being a fundraising professional on a job search in a city where nobody has ever heard of you isn't an easy task. Yet for some amazing reason I have had the chance to interview for some pretty incredible non-profits doing life-changing work in the Los Angeles area.

I wanted to pass along a few tips I do during the job process here. Some of these I realize are just :

Do not be in a hurry.

Get very comfortable with working with recruiting firms, especially ones who don't necessarily show that much respect for fundraising professionals or non-profit professionals as a whole.

Focus on getting in front of those who would actually hire you. This means rocking it through the recruiters.

As with any job, write an eye-opening cover letter specific to the position. Remember that you want to get in front of the person who will actually decide to hire you.

Be early to your interview.

Study the budget before the interview. For fundraisers this is crucial.

Don't promise the world. Focus on your past experiences and successes.

Dress for success.

Have a list of seven professional references that includes folks who you have reported to, who have reported to you, board members and professional contacts.

I think that's a good start!

Thanks for reading!