It’s Just Fundraising… How Hard Can it Be?

 In Smith & Dale Blog

Imagine being a business owner and hiring your lone sales person, responsible for the smart growth of your bottom line ~ and choosing someone with zero experience or knowledge of your industry and giving them no tools to succeed.  How long would they last?  How long would your business last?

Yet, somehow, in the nonprofit sector, this seems almost acceptable.

Socializing with a funder friend recently, I heard an embarrassing tale about just this scenario ~ a friendly, well-intentioned newbie, unleashed alone onto the community, and woefully unprepared for any discussion with a potential funder, much less an ask for support.  (And oh yes… it happened, even after they couldn’t answer any of the funders questions.)

We continue to be surprised how little understanding some organizations have for the major role resource development plays in most nonprofit success, and the expertise required ~ especially when starting a fundraising effort from near-nothing.

The worst is when someone with no experience is hired, and then given no support: no one else on staff knows how to train them, and leadership isn’t willing to contract outside help to get them, and the department, set up properly.   It can really do damage, both to the employee and to the nonprofit’s brand.

Think I’m the only with whom one the funder shared that story…?  I doubt it.


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