Searching for a donor-centered fundraiser
As I said on Friday, I am currently reading the book Co-Active Coaching as part of a business coaching certificate program. While digesting this text, it caused me to reflect back on Penelope Burk’s book, Donor Centered Fundraising. I think this is happening in part because when I read Penelope Burk’s book, I kept asking myself questions like “what would that look like in practice?” and “what skill sets would a donor-centered resource development professional need to possess?”.
I think some of the coaching material I’m currently reading fills in some of those blanks in my head, and I want to share those thoughts with you here today.
Chapter 5 in Co-Active Coaching talks about how one quality of a successful coach is “curiosity” and one skill set required to be curious is being able to ask powerful questions and dumb questions (which can also be quite powerful). On page 79, the authors list a few example questions:
- What does what you want look (or feel) like?
- What about that is important to you?
- What else?
- What will you do and when will you do it?
I now see the importance of limiting the number of “Yes-No” and “Why” questions because these questions can be intimidating and limit discussion. Likewise, I found myself thinking that open ended and naturally curious questions help deepen understandings and in turn deepen relationships.
If I was an executive director again and looking to hire a development professional with donor-centered fundraising skills sets, I suspect I would build a search process around finding someone with the following qualities:
- listening skills
- curiosity & engagement
- life-long learner
- the ability to create accountability
- connectivity & relationship building
Have you ever hired a donor-centered fundraising professional? If so, what qualities, characteristics, competencies and skill sets did they possess? What were some of the questions you used to tease these qualities out of your candidate pool? Please jump in and share.
Here is to your health!Erik Anderson Owner, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC firstname.lastname@example.org http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847 http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1021153653 http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847
Posted on June 13, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged donor, donor centered, fundraising, hiring, human resources, loyalty, nonprofit, Penelope Burk, philanthropy, resource development, search process. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.