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.