If you’ve been in fundraising for any length of time you probably already know that turnover is a problem in the sector. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the average turnover rate of nonprofit fundraisers is sixteen months. Ack!
Here are 3 things you might want to think about doing if you hate your job or employer:
1. Write down exactly what you want.
Too often I see people leave a nonprofit only to jump from the frying pan to the fire because they failed to assess what they were looking for in their next position. So I encourage you to grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen, draw a line down the middle and write the following on the left and right sides:
Left side – What I want in my next position.
Write down bullet-points you’d hope to realize in your next job. Be very detailed. Reach a bit; include things you might not get. What would you be doing? What would your boss be like? What about the commute, the people, and even decor? Go ahead! It’s just a piece of paper.
Right side – What I don’t want in my next position.
This time write down your deal-breakers, everything you don’t want in your next job. Again, be detailed and reach a bit. Get it all down on paper.
Now that you have a checklist of ‘wants’ and ‘don’t wants’ you should use it! Interview your potential employers as much as they interview you. See if there’s a fit.
2. Consider becoming a consultant.
Being a consultant has lots of advantages and plenty of disadvantages too. Some try it and go back to working for a nonprofit. Others leave their jobs and never look back.
If you are seriously considering taking the leap, I strongly suggest you subscribe to MarketSmart’s podcast titled How I Built My Fundraising Consultancy. You’ll benefit from the wisdom, experience and even the failures of tons of consultants who have shared their stories free of charge.
3. Get a different position or leave the sector entirely.
Fundraising isn’t for everyone. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Sticking it out only hurts you, your employer, the donors and the beneficiaries of their gifts. Consider finding a new position within your organization or leave the sector entirely. Doing so might be the best decision you ever made.
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