Recently a lot of people have been writing about the high level of turnover among fundraisers in our field.
As reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently, 51% of the fundraising professionals in Canada and the USA that were surveyed say they will leave their current nonprofit and 30% say they plan to leave the fundraising profession altogether within the next two years.
Not too long ago Michael Rosen wrote on his blog, “As I see it, with the benefit of four decades of experience, the biggest ongoing problem with fundraiser retention is a near complete lack of will, on the part of nonprofit boards and C-level staff, to fix the situation.”
I agree with Michael.
I’ve often said that turnover is a function of leadership. And, unfortunately, the nonprofit sector seems to employ too few true leaders.
But what does it mean to be a leader after all?
Leadership is a word that gets thrown around a lot. If you search the term on Amazon.com, you’ll find over 50,000 book titles addressing the subject. And, if you search the images on Google, you’ll find tons of pictures, pithy phrases and motivational quotes. But I believe just about all of that content fails to fully help people understand what leadership really is.
Two big concepts about leadership (learned over the past 11 years).
Want more of my thoughts on leadership? Right now, you can hear me rant some more about what I’ve learned about leadership over the past decade as the CEO of MarketSmart. The host of Charity Chat in Great Britain, Samuel Davies, came across a blog article I posted some time ago about the difference between bosses and leaders and he reached out to me to see if I might be a guest on his podcast. I agreed and we scheduled a call.
During the interview I gave him an earful about what I learned over the years and what I believe leadership is really all about. He posted the recording and you can listen to it here. Episode 65: Bosses vs. Leaders.
I hope you’ll take a listen to the podcast.
If you do, you might agree with me and learn how you might gain followers too. Then, perhaps they (your staff) might even stay put working for your organization or institution to advance your vision for your cause.
Of course, if you like what you hear, I hope you’ll spread the word by sharing the link with your friends and colleagues.
And if you don’t agree, that’s fine. Why not challenge me in the comments section below? I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy running a business and I know what has worked to help me gain followers for my company. My way might not be right for you, and that’s ok.
Oh, and if you don’t believe me when I say I have followers…
You can see for yourself by visiting MarketSmart’s Glassdoor page here. There you’ll find what current and former staff said about me behind my back.
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