The 4 Reasons Your Fundraisers Leave


You’ve probably read a lot of articles on why the turnover of fundraising staff is so high. A friend asked me the same thing recently as her charity has just lost yet another fundraising manager. I replied, and then I shared my reply on LinkedIn…and a lot of fundraisers agreed.

So here – in my opinion – are the 4 reasons your charity’s fundraising staff keep leaving:

  1. Fundraisers are under appreciated, and the rest of the charity generally looks at them as a ‘necessary evil’.
  2. Often the rest of the organisation don’t respect it as a job or believe that it’s a profession. I’ve never seen any other job where so many outside people with no experience are as happy to tell you everything you’re doing is wrong.
  3. Fundraisers often aren’t supported in their own training and qualifications. That’s probably because, again, it’s not seen as a real job. If your manager and Board believe fundraising is guesswork and witchcraft then why would they pay for you to go on a fundraising course?
  4. It’s lovely that charities want to change the world, but one of the results of that is one of my pet peeves: a fundraising target which is “as much as possible”. Besides being unrealistic, it’s demotivating.
    Your reward for raising €1 million last year? A €1.3 million target.

And a bonus 5th reasons from @DenisaCasement…

Once a fundraiser is successful the organisation begins to think the money “just comes in”. There is a very short memory of what the budget shortfall was before the fundraiser brought their skills, knowledge and experience to the organisation.

1 reply added

  1. Armando Enrique Zumaya 11th October 2017 Reply

    Nice piece! I wrote an article on a similar track. But I know the story of suffering from your own success! Had a place once where my goal was increased by $2.5 million after……….you guessed it……I brought in a $2.5 million gift !!
    I would go further to say that most Board Members or ED’s who supervise or hire a DoD want to avoid and blame. Avoid fundraising and blame when it doesn’t meet expectations. We have to directly and openly confront what I call “fundraising fear”. The stark terror and disgust most Board Members have for what we do. Once you turn on the lights and get to the bottom of their fears and disgust they can see it’s false and that fundraising is indeed beautiful!

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