January 28, 2014
For nonprofits, the ability to fundraise is key and having the right development officer is an integral part of the formula. Nonprofits that are looking to increase their operating budget in the coming years should look into improving the development officer position. Fundraising has grown increasingly more complicated with a down economy and numerous new sources for donation.
While having more options for donation increases the amount of money that can be collected, some nonprofits are not familiar with how to utilize new technology. Raising funds via the Internet through platforms such as Facebook or using crowdfunding requires more talent than some in an organization may care to admit. Furthermore, it still makes up a relatively small part of donations for most nonprofits. While organizations can take advantage of these new ways to raise funds, they in no way decrease the need for the a development officer.
Interviewing candidates to help with fundraising efforts
According to Nonprofit Quarterly, CEO's must extensively vet candidates for the development officer position. It's important that those doing the interview also have a strong knowledge of the how to raise funds so that they know what to questions ask. When interviewing, it's important to ask the candidate how they would handle funding issues that impact your nonprofit. Ask about figurative situations and challenges that the organization is actually facing.
Also, make sure your company has a defined position for raising the funds. If you can afford it, don't have the person that will develop fundraising strategy wear multiple hats. This individual should be able to focus almost exclusively on ensuring that the nonprofit can reach out to donors and remain financially viable. In a small organization where the position may go unfilled, it is still important to have board members and staff with a deep understanding of how nonprofits raise money.
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