Do you ever read job postings and ask yourself: what on earth are they looking for? A fundraising unicorn?! This happens in many non-profit jobs but it seems to be worse with high-value fundraising positions like major gifts and legacies.
Many job postings for major gifts or legacies tend to focus on the technical skills and on producing results in the short term. Unfortunately, what they fail to demonstrate is the need for the organization and for these positions to take a long-term view that is relationship building with donors.
In other words, these organizations aim to recruit a warm body to hit short term goals. The result of this type of approach is that it creates an environment where the fundraiser can only be considered successful if they hit these short-term, unsustainable, and oftentimes, unrealistic goals. Of course, this goes contrary to what we know is natural to major gifts and legacy fundraising.
Here’s an alternative: what if organizations take on a talent acquisition approach to fulfill jobs as an ongoing strategy to find specialists and leaders. Why? Because talent acquisition focuses on long-term human resources planning to find appropriate candidates for positions that require a very specific skill set – like legacies and major gifts.
To do so, it will mean that organizations need to not only have a long-term vision of their work but to also continually network and build relationships with individuals who are at the top of their field. There are plenty of incredibly talented individuals in the sector. Who knows, maybe taking this long-term view to filling positions may contribute to reducing the high turnover of fundraisers.
Can we afford not to try? Don’t our donors and our causes deserve the best talent out there?