Reading Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising was a sobering event. I have heard all of these complaints over the years, but seeing how truly pervasive they really are transformed them from anecdotal stories into systemic problems.
It was certainly disturbing to learn how many development directors want to leave their jobs:
But this chart was downright terrifying:
Even in high performing organizations a culture of philanthropy is only present in 36% of organizations, and for everyone else 12%. It looks like we have created a culture of unhappiness, and it’s coming through to donors as they stop giving, or don’t start at all.
No matter how good you are at compartmentalizing your life, if you are unhappy then your donors (and prospective donors) will pick up on it. This is why we included a special session on the topic at our upcoming Donor Retention Bootcamp:
It’s Coming Through!
Politics, silos, dysfunctional teams, and demanding donors are just a few of the reasons that over 50% of fundraisers want to change jobs or get out of the profession altogether. That attitude is coming through loud and clear to your donors, which means the first retention program is an internal one. Creating a culture of retention within your organization requires an honest assessment, an open mind, and the willingness to be an active part of needed changes. The goal is for your donors to enjoy being part of your fundraising efforts, including visits to your office.
Having used up my Beatles allotment for the month, I’ll instead leave you with Bobby McFerrin.