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Charlotte Nonprofit Buzz: The Fundraising Exodus

While those inside the nonprofit sector already know this fact, those in the for-profit world and beyond are finally taking note. A tremendous leadership turnover is taking place in area nonprofits. As the Charlotte Observer noted in a July 28 article titled “Nonprofits see exodus in leaders,” more than 35 nonprofit leaders have changed roles in the past year. In this same article, the newspaper noted the short-term and long-term impact of these talent changes within the nonprofit sector.

donation_fr_kurs_0Patton McDowell and Associates confirmed this trend in its Innovation Series earlier this year. One of the key themes for nonprofits from the most recent recession is talent acquisition and retention. Identifying and acquiring the best staff talent requires a new handbook for local nonprofits that are exhausted by a staffing version of musical chairs.  According to Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research, nonprofits experience an abysmal 16-month turnover rate in their fundraising talent, which costs these nonprofits significantly both in terms of training and lost opportunities with donors.

Whether it is just burnout from the recession or more career opportunities in other cities, fundraising professionals and executive directors are looking for more in their current roles. A focus on career development in a nonprofit is more important than ever. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How can you reward those who have weathered the recession?
  • What training can you provide to employees now that budgets have stabilized or even increased?
  • What departments could use outside help with projects?
  • How can you expand the career potential of every person in your organization?

For more information on this topic, revisit our Innovation Series recap of talent acquisition and retention articles. You can also follow us on Twitter for links to other research and findings on this topic. Lastly, you can always contact us via email to discuss your needs within your nonprofit. PMA stands ready to help you navigate the turbulent waters of transition and reach your final destination of organizational success.