In the last couple of weeks I have had the chance to engage with fundraisers and development professionals from all over the LA/southern California area.
I was struck, and can't stop thinking about this, by how many asked me if I knew of an open position somewhere, or if I had any openings on my team.
I believe the most recent number for development staff in regards to how long they stay at a non-profit on average is 14 months.
Just 14 months. Imagine the effect this has on the agency, their donors and stakeholders, their mission, and their staff.
I believe if a development staffer is paid well, respected, engaged, empowered, treated kindly, asked to contribute at high levels and knows what is expected of them, then the chances they are looking for something else decreases significantly.
So what are we non-profits doing wrong? Is it all about salary? I don' think so. Many of us work in the non-profit world because of our passion for the cause, because we want to change the world.
I believe it comes down to how development staff is treated. Unfortunately not all development staffers feel empowered. Many I spoke with said they do not feel respected at their agency. Many feel overworked, with crazy expectations. These are just a few of the things I have heard in the last couple of weeks.
Food for thought. I wanted to write this because I love being in non-profit development and I think we can create amazing opportunities for those we hire. Then with move forward and raise the critical funds needed for our missions to succeed.
I also think that we as non-profit and development professionals need to look in the mirror more often. What are we doing that needs to change so that our development teams will thrive, and stay?
Thanks for reading.