Evaluating Your New Fundraiser

 

Six months after hiring a new fundraiser your organization should evaluate the progress being made. What criteria should you use to decide if the new employee is doing a good job for your organization?

Carefully Written Job Description

The first step in the evaluation process is to compare accomplishments of the fundraiser with the written job description. The job description should specifically detail the requirements for the position. For example, if you listed development of special events as a criteria for success, then some measurable progress should be made in this area. Progress could be the formation of a special event steering committee, recruitment of event volunteers, or the actual coordination of an event. A well written, highly detailed job description will not only enhance your evaluation process, but will also help the new fundraiser understand and accomplish specific goals. If your organization has never drafted this type of job description, contact other charitable organizations who have fundraisers on staff, and ask for a copy.

Initiative

A fundraising professional will always be looking for philanthropic opportunities that could benefit the organization, whether it’s in the job description or not. When evaluating your fundraiser look for initiative. For example, did the fundraiser suggest to the board new methods of raising money? Did the employee attend a class or seminar to acquire new skills? Did the fundraiser recruit employees and other volunteers to help with projects? Did the individual show enthusiasm when confronted with difficult concepts or new programs? This type of initiative is exactly what you’re looking for in a fundraiser.

Organizational Skills

Organizational skills are often overlooked in the evaluation process. Keep in mind the new employee is attempting to develop a fundraising program that will serve the organization for years to come. In the first six months the new employee should have written a fundraising plan, as well as developed procedures to receive, process and recognize gifts. These responsibilities may or may not be in the job description but are vital to the success of the fundraising program.

Communications Skills

Proficiency in oral and written communications should be a part of the job description. But what does that mean? During the first six months the new employee should be communicating with the board, staff and volunteers the need for fundraising and how it will benefit the organization now and in the future. Communications can take the form of informational programs for board meetings, presentations to the staff, or even a fundraising newsletter. In the evaluation process take a close look at the level of communications skills that have been demonstrated over the first six months. Is it what your organization expected? If not, how can it be improved?

Sense of Humor

The last thing you want in your new fundraiser is a person who easily becomes upset, scowls at fellow employees or rages when frustrated. A fundraising professional knows that set-backs and frustrations are all part of the job. A sense of humor can diffuse most problems and overcome aggravating hurdles. If your new employee is not presenting a friendly image, find out why.

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