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Nonprofit Innovation Series – Talent Acquisition & Retention

Executive_Search_PhotoIn April, the PMA Innovation Series focuses on talent acquisition and retention.

As covered by PMA in this blog post from more than a year ago, identifying and acquiring the best staff talent requires a new handbook for local nonprofits who 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.

So why do they leave? Increasingly, PMA has found that the expectations for Executive Directors and Development Directors in the fundraising space have changed, with a requirement for these professionals to be adept strategic thinkers, capable tactical implementers and relationship-savvy fundraisers, all wrapped up in a package that requires little onboarding, minimal additional budget and comfort with a lot of nights and weekends.  If that sounds like a tall order, that’s because it is.  Realistic expectations are needed, but perhaps the trait requested most often is creativity, and on that point, local nonprofits have it right.

PMA has talked with local leaders and surveyed professionals, and what they say about why they are attracted to their positions (and why they choose to stay) may surprise you.  PMA’s Innovation Series tackles this emerging topic all month, with features including Q&A’s with local leaders like Pamela Davies from Queens University and Tim Hurley from Teach For America.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the Innovation Series, subscribe with your e-mail address in the box to the right. And let us know what you think in the comments section below!