Books of Note

Practical Advice for Modern Fundraisers

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.

How many eyes does a typical person have?

Well, it is June - now what?


Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time. From TED

Stress! Keeping It Calm In Times of Stress. 



As fundraiser, we have accepted that stress is just a part of the job. But does it have to show?  Can we actually manage to stay calm even before the Board Meeting, when the mailing is late or the honoree pulls out of the event?  We can do it. We just need to have the right technics.

Taking Responsibility For "Giving Well"- a response-

Late last year in December, the New York Times ran an opinion piece about the best way to choose where to make your charitable giving, and I found it quite disturbing. ( You see, the piece was supposed to be about how to know if your gift to a charity was used well. But it turned out to be an ad for a company that verifies charities and regrants your donation to the charities in its database. That was disturbing enough, but the charities were all international to worsen it. The assumption seemed to be that local charities are not a good investment.


I am not opposed to supporting international causes. For example, I support a village in Kenya. But I make sure that most of what I give goes to local charities.


Why. Because they make my immediate world better, local nonprofits support the children, families, and adults where I live. They protect the local parks and the green spaces. They are caring for "my local " world. So shouldn't that be our priority?


As for knowing how your money is spent, you can put a little time into learning about them. Every charity is supposed to publish their IRS990, financials and most publish an Annual Report. If they don't well, that tells you something right there. I realize that it is easier to follow the writer's advice and outsource your responsibility, and support charities far from home.


I hope donors will consider their responsibility to their neighbors and your local community. Check out your local community foundation if you really just want to make a gift and walk away. But giving local is the thoughtful thing to do.

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