#afpfc Becoming an Organizational Architect: A 7-Step Formula for Leading Happy & Healthy Fundraisers

This session could have easily been named, Fundraisers Deserve More Respect!

Presenter: Tycely Williams, CFRE

The fundraiser position is not for everyone so if a person shouldn’t be in it, that’s another story. This is more about those who are in it and may want to continue.

This session covered some of the reasons why fundraisers resign – there are many reasons – and was based on findings from focus groups of 8 individuals and 4 groups. Individuals particpating in the focus groups were asked to identify negative and positive voluntary resignations i.e. an individual saying, “I no longer wish to be employed at the organization”.

Position succession planning was discussed and encouraged. Made me think about having a transition plan in general because I am the founder, executive director and fundraiser!

Recommendations for Shifting into the Solution (to retain talent particularly the right talent):

1–Adopt shared values. Values and mission are not the same – putting these in words is important. Adapting a values driven leadership style – what does that look like for your organization – should definitely be demonstrated.

2–Assess and adjust your organizational structure and make sure it works. Assessing is important with internal/external stakeholders, what seems to be working and not. Agree to realistic fundraising strategies, have human and financial resources behind it i.e., consultants, staff, etc.

3–Attain fair systems. Hone in on a rewards system. Celebrate fundraising staff. Make sure IT systems are working and connected to strategy. Acquire and assign qualified people – that would be the most important thing to do. When you let people “invade the sanctuary” who aren’t qualified that upsets the balance with other staff. Make sure you put in place the right skillset for the position. Expertise + ability.

4–Agree to professional development.

Speaker asked attendees to post conference commitments. There is a document download for this session.


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