Practical Advice for Modern Fundraisers

THOUGHT·FUL

adjective\ˈtht-fəl\

: serious and quiet because you are thinking: done or made after careful thinking   : done or made after careful thinking: showing concern for the needs or : showing concern for the needs of feelings of other people

increase productivity

So you can do it all. Really?

Is doing it all when short-staffed a good thing? So many times, we find ourselves short-staffed, Someone leaves, we add a new area, or there is a budget cut. As hard as it is to release a staff person, it can be even harder to get the staff position back when the time comes. If you are an overachiever and your remaining team members have "made: things happen without the position, it is even more complicated. The powers that be can feel like, "why should we add staff when things are happening anyway.

I always try to point out the things that aren't happening. If the head of the department is dealing with the minutia of an event, then who is stewarding the donors as they come in, who is coaxing prospects into the fold. Those are just some of the things concerning the event. What about all of the non-event projects. What about properly managing the staff. Antone with reports knows that properly working with a team takes time and patience. Both of which are in short supply when you are short-staffed.

So what can you do? First, go ahead and write up the job description for the position you need to fill. Then, do some research and figure out what the salary range ought to be. Be realistic. If you have regular meetings with your CEO or ED, bite the bullet and give them the job description. Make it clear you are not looking to fill it immediately, but the time is coming. I would also make it clear to my board committee that you are short-staffed and that the time is coining when you will need an additional staff person.

I would not let the important things drop or suffer, but I would keep track of the projects and outreach that simply isn't happening because of time. The next move would be to plan a budget with this staff person to begin the budgeting process for the next year. Be sure to show an increase in income because of the person and the time freed up for you to use.

This process could take some time, but the position will happen organically. The key is to show how you can be more productive, and the organization will re-coup the investment in the added staff person.

 

Doing An Event In Our New Reality

So you want to do a Fall event! Besides all of the regular things, one has to figure out the price, venue, theme, managing the committee, and sending invites. Now we have to worry about COVID. No one wants their event to be a super spreader or even a minor spreader. So what to do? It seems to me we have three options -

  1. Require proof of vaccination
  2. Suggest that the event is for the vaccinated
  3. bite your lip and hope that only people who are vaccinated attend.

Or course, you can also add a statement that says, "Please wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated. " But will that work? Will people be honest? What happens if people get sick after attending the event? Should people have to sign a waiver? Will that put a damper on the event? 

Boy, there are so many questions and so few answers since we are all doing this for the first time. The thoughtful way to solve this problem is to note on the invitation that masks must be worn if not fully vaccinated. That way, people are forewarned, and also, you are showing that you are conscious of people's concerns. Then I would have the venue put up a sign that says, "Please Wear A Mask If Not FULLY Vaccinated." 

The general counsel of an organization I know recommended that you can add a statement that says something like, "Attending this or any in-person event has a certain exposure by attending, you agree not to hold the presenting organization liable for any adverse outcomes." I am not so sure about that kind of statement. I am not sure how thoughtful having a statement like that on your invitation is for your guest, but I guess it is an option. 

Thoughtfully speaking, I would state in the invitation: "We will be following the masking mandates of the jurisdiction in which the event is being held. That way, if the mask rules change, you are covered. 

We are all facing new challenges in our fundraising, but I think the event area is the most challenging. I am sure, though, that if we approach each challenge thoughtfully, we will succeed. 

 

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