I've been involved in many recruitment processes for both starting and senior fundraising jobs. Lately I've seen vacancies being re-posted several times, because it's too hard to find the right person. How weird is that? Well known and widely respected organisations doing so much good in the world, but unable to fill one fundraising position. You only need one in the end, but a bit of choice would be nice.
>> For all you Dutch fundraisers and marketeers out there: I'm hiring right now: Loyalty Marketeer at CARE Nederland.
Due to the high demand and low supply I see many organisations going for people without prior or very little (or the wrong) fundraising experience. These fundraisers arrive at the office on Day 1 and they are being introduced as the new fundraiser. Often the new "senior fundraiser". Nothing less is true. The weird thing is that these fundraisers start believing it. Within a few months they consider themselves the senior in their area. A bigger risk is not possible.
If you are not hiring your ideal candidate, why don't you add some training to the mix? A special on-boarding program for the short term and continuous coaching for the first year. After the first year you need to re-assess these people and make a conscious decision to move forward together. Or not. Use that first year to confirm your choice. If you continue with the wrong person, on whatever level, you'll hurt the progress of your organisation and therefor your mission.
Mediocrity in fundraising is one of the biggest problems we have in our sector. Just enough to do OK, but never great. If you want to do great fundraising you need great fundraisers. The sector is in dire need for great fundraisers. The goals we strive for deserve the best.
And yes, that will require an investment from your side. Perhaps the following famous mini-story explains it better than I can:
CFO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?
CEO: What happens if we don't and they stay?