I was surprised to learn this week that out of 317 small charities recently surveyed, half found fundraising vacancies the most difficult to fill. This news comes from an article in Civil
Society reporting on a survey compiled by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI). The main reasons cited were: lack of advertising budget, lack of applicant experience and salary.
43% of those responding felt that a lack of advertising budget was the cause for not getting the right people in post. The good news is there are now many ways to advertise a job either for free using social networking sites, or using specific charity job websites for around a hundred pounds, both of which produce good results when used carefully and selectively.
When it comes to applicant experience, charities need to think about the job descriptions they put together – how clear are they being about the kind of candidates they are looking for? The more specific the job description and person specification the less likely a charity is to be inundated with the wrong type of applicant. Does the role really need a high level of experience in fundraising or can a candidate with a commercial or sales and marketing background do the job just as well? Or with some internal support and mentoring, can a less experienced applicant learn the required skills whilst in post?
Looking at salaries (which 47% of charities surveyed believed was the cause for not being able to recruit fundraisers) the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ does hold reasonably true. If organisations are expecting to hire experienced fundraisers who will be responsible for large budgets, managing staff and volunteers whilst raising significant income then they need to pay appropriately. Fundraising is a profession and needs to be recognised as such.
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