The Commonwealth Foundation is among the most effective and influential state-based think tanks in the country. With a top-notch team of policy analysts and communication experts, CF transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish. [Read more…]
The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) is a California based think-tank dedicated to championing freedom, opportunity, limited government, and personal responsibility. PRI’s mission is to provide practical, market-based solutions on issues affecting the citizens of California and all Americans. The Institute’s research focuses on education reform, health care, tax and fiscal policy, and the environment. We are “policy entrepreneurs putting ideas into action.”
PRI is hiring a full-time Director of Major Gifts who would be responsible for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major gifts. The successful candidate would manage a comprehensive portfolio of individual donors and major donor prospects primarily located in, but not limited to, Southern California. The Director would be expected to conduct regular personal meetings with donors and donor prospects and make solicitations, focusing on gifts in the five and six-figure range.
The Director can be based in PRI’s Pasadena office or a virtual office in Southern California. Ideally the Director will be on the road for meetings and events 50% of the time. The candidate’s location in Southern California would impact what percentage of the travel would require over-night or multi-day travel. The Director will work closely with the President and CEO, Vice President of Development, development and events staff, other outside contractors, and other PRI personnel to ensure that PRI grows its donor base and meets its annual fundraising goals.
Pacific Legal Foundation—the nation’s first and most successful public interest law firm dedicated to vindicating individual liberty—seeks an energetic and innovative development researcher to organize and manage a prospective donor pipeline to grow PLF’s donor base and financial resources.
About the Role
The Prospect Research Manager is responsible for developing and implementing a process to identify prospective supporters, in order to generate increased support for PLF. The Prospect Research Manager reports to the Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship.
The primary job duties are as follows:
- Identify prospective individuals and foundations who have the affinity and capacity to support Pacific Legal Foundation using research tools.
- Manage the research pipeline to facilitate acquisitions, renewals, and upgrades among current and prospective donors
- Based on research, determine the appropriate stewardship track for new donors
- Work closely with the Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship and Director of Donor Relations to develop appropriate donor strategies and prioritization based on research
- Manage the dissemination of research to appropriate development officers, including creating a process for assigning, reviewing, and disqualifying potential prospects
- Prepare individual research and background profiles for development officers and leadership as requested
- Oversee the strategic use of analytics data to implement effective segmentation of qualified prospects for the Annual Giving and Major Giving teams
- Continually review and improve research processes based on results and feedback from Development colleagues
- Maintain accurate and timely data information in Raiser’s Edge
Talent Tip #79: Two Solutions for Our Fundraising Talent Shortage
Last month I donned my Captain Obvious hat and wrote of our need for fundraisers. But I’m not a fan of pointing out problems without also providing solutions. So, this month, with a little help from numerous friends I heard from in the interim, we’re going to address ways to correct the problem.
As I see it, there are two main solutions to addressing our fundraising talent shortage.
- Expand the talent pool – When it comes to looking for fundraising talent, we’re working with a $12 Wal-Mart plastic kiddie pool when we should be searching in one that is Olympic-size. In order to expand, we need to bring in individuals (entry level, mid-career, and advanced professionals) without specific fundraising experience who have the personality and skills to become successful development officers and give them the training, mentoring, and opportunity they need to prosper.This can happen at the organization level and via talent development programs across the network. Investors in liberty should recognize this opportunity and support initiatives that open the door to an expanded bench of fundraisers.
- Retain the talent we have – The feedback I received after last month’s newsletter was robust and incredibly consistent: we often drive away good fundraisers.How? Well, the list of complaints I’ve heard is long, but here are some highlights:
- Pay – I’ll cut to the chase on this point: if you don’t reward your fundraisers for outstanding performance, there is a long line of other organizations that will happily poach them.
- Wasted talent – Apparently some nonprofits hire fundraisers and then chain them to a desk, not allowing them to forge relationships with donors. Sometimes it’s a trust issue; sometimes it’s an ego issue. Whatever the cause, if you hired a fundraiser to build relationships with donors, let him do it!From one friend in Washington, DC:
“If you hire someone to fundraise, let him go BLEEPing fundraise. Don’t delay in sending a qualified fundraiser into the field. That’s how talented people get antsy and start looking. Literally as I was typing this email, a colleague came into my office to share with me how his interview went with a major university’s development department. I’m sure it’s going to come as a shock to our Chief Development Officer when he says he’s leaving. But his time has been wasted here. Too bad the think tank community is about to lose another potentially good fundraiser.”On the other side of this coin, I heard from another fundraiser friend who recently started a new job with a growing, impressive group. It came as a pleasant surprise when the CEO invited him along to a key donor meeting just weeks after he started. Not only is this a great talent development strategy, but it’s a fabulous way to inspire staff to work harder and engender loyalty.
- Respect – A friend in the Northeast summed it up perfectly: “Fundraising is really the heart of any organization which relies on donations, pumping blood to the rest of the organization and leadership. Good fundraisers get out of the business and move on because they get fed up with being treated as an afterthought. I would have no problem fundraising at a senior level for an organization that “gets it” and treats their development operation as a key part of strategic management. And of course an integrated development function makes the organization stronger, because major donors want to know all they can about where their dollars are going and want to deal with people in the know.”
- Unrealistic expectations – A friend in the Lone Star State hit the nail on the head: “I’m amazed at how many nonprofits are struggling to keep good development directors.Too many nonprofits have unrealistic ideas of how to raise substantive money in sustainable means. Let’s face it: development directors aren’t rain-makers!”
This is my two cents; and, as always, I welcome your suggestions and ideas. After all, the success of the liberty movement hinges on our ability to keep the lights on.