Hiring Fundraisers Is Easy. Keeping Them Is Harder.

We welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Gift Planning Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn shares with us some important industry updates.

According to a recent survey from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, half of development professionals plan to leave their charities in the next two years and 30 percent of fundraisers say they plan to leave fundraising altogether. These are astonishing statistics.

Many of those surveyed said that they felt “tremendous pressure to succeed” and “often feel unappreciated.” What can your organization do to change direction and help retain fundraisers?

Laura Hansen Dean, Senior Director of Gift Design and Documentation at the University of Texas at Austin, believes the nonprofit sector can improve—and it starts with management. In a collaborative session at the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners conference titled “Best Practices: Support From the Top,” she highlighted several best practices.

She stressed that the management team needs to not only understand gift planning but also their personal role in the success of gift planning. The management team also needs to understand and appreciate the longevity of a planned gift and recognize the importance of continued stewardship.

During the presentation, we formed small groups to brainstorm ideas to retain quality fundraisers. At my station, we discussed the millennial generation of fundraisers, a generation that appreciates recognition. We came up with several ideas to recognize fundraiser achievement and combat turnover. Here are two favorites:

1. Energize the Team

Create progress meters or send weekly virtual “high five” emails that call out completed gifts or fundraising milestones.

2. Ask Them How They De-Stress

Comfort food? Starbucks? Exercise? Yoga? Each individual has their own way of minimizing stress. Your leadership team should poll employees. Implement a plan to bring these practices to meetings or other group activities.

Retaining skilled and valuable fundraisers seems to be a perennial challenge. By finding creative ways to recognize fundraisers for their achievements, your organization can keep its staff engaged and inspired.

This excerpt is one of the many useful articles that can be found in our most recent edition of Expert Insights: Your Resource for Planned Giving Trends and Updates. Stelter provides this quarterly e-publication at no cost to its nonprofit partners.

Questions? Comment to ask our expert, Lynn Gaumer!

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