What will jumpstart your fundraising efforts?
Is it leadership?
A seasoned Development Director?
Well — all of these components are great, but without a sharp administrative staff person, your efforts can lag and become easily bogged down.
We know. It may not seem intuitive to invest in administrative support when what you really need is cash in the door to keep your mission moving, right now. But are you making connections or mailing labels?
What is often overlooked is the evidence that shows that having a fundraising administrative role to support your Development Director and/or Executive Director can be the key to bringing those much-needed dollars in the door.
5 things we’ve found that a person in an administrative role can do to save time for your organization:
- Prepare packets of information for major gift prospects in advance and have them on hand
- Track follow up steps in your fundraising database to ensure that volunteers make their calls
- Maintain up-to-date addresses and phone numbers in your database
- Create report templates in your database that display fundraising information clearly so it can be easily pulled for meetings to track the progress of your campaign
- Prepare agendas prior to meetings, along with all paperwork/ copies needed ensuring the best use of staff and volunteer time
If your high-level staff are overwhelmed with fundraising database management, mailings, and event logistics, they can’t focus on building and sustaining donor relationships. Our clients have had huge gains when they hire this role to support whoever is responsible for philanthropy.
“There is no reason why your fundraising office should not function like a well-oiled machine.”
Most importantly, if your Development Director or Executive Director currently spends their time on these tasks, this needs to stop. If you are that person, consider how many collective hours you have spent trying to format a sheet of mailing labels, entering gifts into the database, or preparing donor acknowledgement letters. Now, if that time had otherwise been spent on donor recruitment, how many new donors might you have picked up if you were able to focus on donor engagement activities?
A well trained, tech-savvy administrative professional will efficiently complete these tasks and free up valuable time for cultivation and follow up, face to face meetings with volunteers, and yes – will translate to more dollars in the door. Often, we have seen organizations hire this person somewhat reluctantly, and soon enough they are raving about the difference it has made for them.
Let’s put it this way: there is no reason why your fundraising office should not function like a well-oiled machine, and that is what this investment will guarantee. You’ll see your reputation in the community grow, along with your organization’s pocketbook. In fact, this one hiring decision could be the key to putting your organization’s fundraising efforts on the fast track.
This blog was originally posted January 17, 2013 by Kennari Consulting and has been updated.