Acquiring and retaining talent is one of the top issues keeping fundraising and organizational leadership awake at night. And it’s easy to understand why.
The recent report Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising offers some of the latest proof that retaining fundraising talent is an ongoing problem. Undertaken by CompassPoint and funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas,Jr. Fund,the project surveyed a group of American executive directors and development directors to better understand the factorsimpeding growth in their organizations.
And according to their findings,high turnover ofsenior development staff is one of them. Among the organizations surveyed, the development director position was vacant in a large number of organizations for months, and in some cases years. Median vacancy reported was 6 months, with 46% reporting vacancies even longer than that. And among organizations with revenues of $1 million or less,the median vacancy jumps to 1 year. Perhaps even more concerning is the large number of development directors who reported that they expect to leave their jobs, with half indicating their intention to leave their current position in two years or less. When you consider the direct cost of turnover, the information is sobering. Based on analysis by the Conference Board of Canada in their annual publication Compensation Planning Outlook the average cost and time per hire isstaggering – executive level positions can take 15 weeks with a cost $43,000 while management and professional positions, 9 weeks and cost $17,000.