Give Your Development Team the Tools to Succeed … and Stay

In a recent blog for Bloomerang, Adam Clevenger, a senior associate at Loring Sternberg & Associates, discussed the high turnover rate of development directors and other fundraising staff.

In his article, Clevenger points to new research from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy that suggests “higher turnover occurs earlier in a professional’s career. But the fact remains that the average tenure for development directors is 18 months.”

Why do development staff members seek new opportunities so frequently? Clevenger offers three reasons:

  1. Development is not adequately funded beyond a staff position.

“Funding development requires more than just staff. It’s no different than an accountant without pencil, paper and calculator, or a doctor without a stethoscope. Ensuring adequate resources for development is an important step on the path towards a culture of philanthropy.”

  1. Board members and executive directors abdicating development responsibility.

“In a development director, you are hiring a relationship manager; she/he will manage relations between you and your donors. Don’t abandon her/him, unless you like interviewing new candidates.”

  1. Expecting too much, too quickly.

“The old adage is that it took a lot to get into this mess, it will take a lot to get out. That applies to fundraising.”

To sum up, development officers need support. They need time. And they need something we care deeply about here at Capture Higher Ed … great tools.

Clevenger ends his piece with a story about a recent lunch he had with a CEO who asked him “the most thoughtful question she could have, ‘What can I do to ensure the new director is successful … and stays.’ ”

At Capture, we think you can ensure success by giving them an edge. That’s why we have adapted Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), our marketing automation software for higher ed, to help streamline and automate advancement offices.

Click here to learn more.

By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed