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The fundraising leadership crisis – is it real?
publication date: Jan 22, 2015
author/source: Rory Green
Think about your fundraising career.
Have you ever had a bad boss? Unrealistic goals?
Have you ever stayed at a job for less than two years?
Have you ever really hated a fundraising job?
Well, you aren’t alone. There is a global conversation happening and it is one I think Canadian fundraisers are an important part of. A conversation about a leadership crisis in fundraising.
What do we mean by a leadership crisis?
I, like many people from the millennial generation, started my career as a fundraiser. I was passionate, cared about the cause and truly wanted to make a difference in the world. And yet, my first experience was in a dysfunctional culture with a lack of leadership, the combination of which, can squash a fundraiser’s passion like a bug under a shoe.
And I wasn’t alone, I see it happening all over the sector. I’ve had the great fortune and pleasure to meet some amazing new fundraisers, who are struggling to stay engaged at not-for-profits.
Quite frankly it scares me. I worry that people are going to leave the sector all together. Or worse - that smart, passionate people are going to stop fundraising!
The solution is in front of us
We are never going to reach our full potential as a sector if we can’t figure this out. Because you can know all there is to know about direct mail, planned giving and major gifts – but none of that matters if you don’t stay in your job for more than a year, or if have high staff turnover in your team. As long as turnover remains high, we'll never get the traction, respect and results that we need. The only solution to this problem is to grow, nurture and invest in leadership.
Let’s take action now
First and foremost invest in yourself
Find and be a mentor
Keep the conversation going
If you would like to explore this issue further you can watch the webinar I participated in with Rebecca Davies and Tony Elischer here. Let’s work together to be a strong Canadian voice and keep this conversation going. Share you stories and experiences below in the comments. And tell us what you think needs to happen to help solve this crisis.
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