Practical Advice for Modern Fundraisers



: serious and quiet because you are thinking: done or made after careful thinking   : done or made after careful thinking: showing concern for the needs or : showing concern for the needs of feelings of other people

Great Job Available - Anyone?  Hello? Is Anyone There?


A couple of months ago, I was excited to post for a new and much-needed position in my fundraising department a Manager of Special Events. They would also help create and run our Young Professional group. I had worked hard to not only get permission for the position. I tried to design a position that would be interesting and even fun for someone interested in doing events at a large Human Services organization. A place where every dollar you helped raise would genuinely make a difference.

I did my research before writing the description by contacting a number of my peers and getting their feedback. I even researched similar job announcements listed by organizations like ours. Finally, I put together what I felt was a clear, fair, and interesting job description. I added just enough about the organization but focused on the job and the good stuff about working for our organization and my department. I emphasized our location in Downtown Brooklyn, our modern offices, the inclusive approach we take to our work, and the position's ability to help design exactly how the job would work. Also, the ability to work remotely two days a week.

We announced the position with a bit of fanfare. Listed it everywhere we could think of, especially places beyond the usual. We posted it on social media, had it cross-posted by senior staff, and even paid to promote the position on Linkedin. I even did a video talking about the role and inviting prospects to reach out with questions.

The results were - crushing. Yes, over 350 people looked at the description on our website, while about 40 opened the application and 13 actually applied. Of those, we did two interviews with one candidate, made an offer, renegotiated the salary, and they ultimately decided not to accept the position.

I understand the decision not to take a position. Goodness knows I have turned down a few myself because of a better offer or just a feeling. What I need to figure out now is what stopped so many people who looked at the description from applying and why so few of those who opened the application completed it.

We are starting from scratch and pulling the job description from all of its placements, rewriting the description, and taking a long look with our HR department at the actual online job application. We can't leave any stone unturned.

If I had these issues, I assume every department and program in our organization has the same problems filling other positions. Therefore, I hope that I will not only find someone to fill my Manager of Special Events position but help the organization fill more jobs.

I wonder if you have had similar issues trying to fill positions in these awkward and interesting times. If so, I'd love to hear what you have done.

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