Having a good work culture can mean the world of difference in so many different facets of a development office. Take, for example, this article (begin on p 4) from the Nonprofit times. It basically discusses the high value of employee referrals for new hires through highlighting a few members from the NPT top non-profits to work for list for 2013. It should be no surprise that those organization with strong management and communications have higher satisfaction, which, in turn, leads to employee referrals, which, in turn, leads to better hires and a stronger team. It’s a cycle that reinforces itself.
In working with non-profit educational institutions and healthcare centers a type of question that is regularly asked of constituents and donors is “would you recommend this school to your friends?” or “would you refer an acquaintance to this hospital?”. A prospect or donor’s response to that one question will reveal the most about how favorably they view the nonprofit and how engaged they really are. So, why don’t we ask those questions of our staff and fundraisers?
One other area of interest in this recap of the best non-profits to work for is this tidbit:
Training and Development proved the weakest category, across the board, for nonprofits.
Between program management, actual fundraising, keeping a team fully staffed and budgeted, and working with leadership and boards, it is easy to let staff training and development slip as a priority. A strong development office, however, is one that grows, not necessarily in overall staff size, but in capacity, knowledge, expertise, and creativity. While some of that growth can be accomplished on an individual level, the strongest programs know that adequately training new staff and developing the skill sets of existing staff can greatly facilitate real growth and see positive outcomes, both in development office performance as well as job satisfaction.