The Revolving Door Development Director
Written by Andrea Barnes on January. 18th 2016
Finding qualified fundraising or development staff is a major challenge facing non-profits all over the charity sector. According to Underdeveloped, a National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, “There has been widespread concern in the nonprofit sector about premature turnover of development directors, lengthy vacancies in the role, and the seemingly thin pool of qualified candidates from which organizations can choose. The development director is commonly labeled a “revolving door” position, and ‘the hardest to fill and retain’ by executives, board members, funders, and capacity builders alike”.
In 2014 generous individuals, foundations, and corporations donated $358 billion to charities in the United States. However, the competition for that funding was fierce among the 1.5 million 501(c)3 organizations that are qualified to receive charitable donations. Successful organizations have been able to develop an organizational culture of philanthropy -- one that emphasizes the vital role fundraising plays in the overall health of a charity and acknowledges that each person within the charity has a fundraising role to play.

Competent fundraising staff and leadership at the Executive Director and Board level are all needed to create a culture of philanthropy and successful fundraising program at any non-profit. However, when surveyed, over half of the Executive Directors reported they can’t find qualified people to run their fundraising staffs.  According to Underdeveloped, for many organizations, Director of Development positions have been vacant for 6 months or even years. “More than half (53%) of executives reported that their most recent development director hiring process attracted an insufficient number of candidates with the right mix of skills and experience”. There aren’t enough University programs teaching development coursework across the country to serve the needs of 1.5 million charities.

Because of this shortage, highly qualified development staff members command competitive salaries in the market. Younger non-profits seeking to hire their first Development Director often can’t afford salaries commanded by experienced candidates.
"One solution is to invest in quality training programs for your own committed staff and new young professionals"
While there are tremendous organizations who support the work of nonprofits such as local nonprofit associations and fundraising associations, few have comprehensive courses that provide development staff with a solid foundation in the art and science of the fund development profession.

The Giving Principles | Learn to Raise Money for the Cause You Love

It is for this critical reason that I developed the course, The Giving Principles | Learn to Raise Money for the Cause You Love. I have been involved on the front lines of charitable work for 30 years in the positions of Executive Director, Director of Development and now as a consultant. I have seen, firsthand, the need to support development staff as well as the need to grow your own team into development experts. In the course I teach the foundational strategies, techniques and latest technologies that I have personally used to raise over $34 million for life-saving, life-changing charities.
Taught live through a webinar format, this course is easily accessible to charities anywhere in the world. Designed to support the development of junior and new development staff, the course will immediately equip the participant with theory, strategy and practical steps they can implement immediately into their positions. It is also a perfect course for the new Executive Director who lacks a background in charitable fundraising. Staff members who receive support and training and see the opportunity for advancement are more likely to stay with an organization for a longer period. Invest in the personal development of your fundraising staff and benefit from the continuity of an effective team over time. As an introduction to the course, I have created a complimentary webinar that has valuable information any non-profit can use. For immediate access to webinar click here.
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  • “This is such a great idea for those of us who want to know better how to raise money for charities close to our hearts. I highly recommend Andrea Barnes.”
  • “If you work in a nonprofit or are thinking of doing so, check out Andrea Barnes 's great training”
  • “All of you involved in non-profit work, take a look at this. I highly recommend Andrea Barnes. She is an amazing fundraising consultant to non-profits.”
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About The Giving Principles
The Giving Principles is a company that aims to create unprecedented support for good.  We do this in three areas:
1. Corporate Social Impact
2. Nonprofit Consulting Solutions
3. Education

About Author: Andrea Barnes

Andrea Barnes founded The Giving Principles after having spent her entire career facilitating social good around the globe.  She is an expert in nonprofit management with an emphasis on raising money.  Along the way, she designs corporate social impact programs with local, national and international reach.
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