This five-part guide is designed help you in your agency or in-house team to do what you’ve always wanted to – attract and keep better fundraisers. This is not a comprehensive handbook for the fundraiser’s entire career, but instead a model that you can modify and use to influence you from your recruitment strategy to their first day in the field.
The average F2F recruitment ad can be found on Gumtree or Indeed, it promises the world and usually reads either “We want dynamic superheroes to join our team of inspirational fundraisers” or “Earn big bucks and start immediately!” so using the idiom you reap what you sow, you will get people that think themselves to be inspirational superheroes or the desperately poor, right?
These adverts, if promoted heavily enough, will bring candidates to your door, but how many are ideal? and how much time and money do you spend separating the wheat from the chaff?
Not many of these adverts speak to the psychology of the job hunter, and instead appeal to the lowest common denominator. The first step in successful recruitment and retention of staff is to understand the what makes a good fundraiser at a deeper level to find the suitable candidate.
We need to ask ourselves a few questions about the fundraiser’s suitability before posting the ad so that their expectations can be met and their values matched:
Will the money be attractive enough? Money is not everything, but everyone has a limit. Be honest about the pay and bonuses. If you over-inflate the figure you will surely disappoint.
Are they looking for a role that is short-term, stable or having prospects? Keeping Australian staff can be aided by offering a long-term view, whilst a backpacker might need a short-term fix.
Is their experience in the field or similar field valued? Will I work in a team that does not recognise my experience and starts me at the same rate and role as those with no experience?
What is their ideal work/life balance? Some people want to work 9-5 and go home, others are looking for a community and lifestyle role. Be honest with what you will require from your team from the start so that their expectations are matched.
Do they need strong leadership with a clear objective? The vision of the company is important for long-term staff who need to feel they are working toward something. This is one of the areas we use every day in our fundraising but neglect in our advertising. We will state that we want to beat breast cancer by 2020, but leave our adverts vague and rudderless.
Does the candidate prefer to travel or stay in the city of their home? If they don’t want to travel interstate for a week-at-a-time, why do we force them? If they want to see the world, why do we not send them away every day?
Your requirements can change on a weekly basis depending on your need, so prepare five or six of these and release them into the wild whenever you require a specific need to be met.