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.


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