I am a firm believer in hiring and keeping good staff.
After all, what makes your organization work?
Who delivers services and runs programs?
If you don’t have good people, you don’t have squat.
Good staff are invaluable.
The problem I see is that lots of nonprofit leaders lose sight of the value of investing in their people, their most important resource.
Think about it – when money gets tight, what’s the first thing to get cut? Yep, staff development and training.
There are always lots of excuses, too.
“Maybe later, when things get better.”
“Training costs too much.”
“It’s not in the budget.”
Remember: your people are your #1 asset.
No matter what, it always makes sense to invest in the thing that can bring you the most return on your investment.
Training makes average people great. And great fundraisers raise WAY more money than average ones.
Well-trained fundraisers know exactly what to do to cultivate relationships and build loyalty among supporters. When that happens, it doesn’t matter WHAT the economy is doing, because your nonprofit will always be well supported.
Even so, things change and there’s always something to learn.
Everyone involved in fundraising can improve their skills. Board members can benefit from ongoing training, too. I haven’t met a Board yet that knows everything they need to know to perform at their highest level.
If you’re happy with the amount of money you’re raising, feel free to go on with the status quo.
But if you want something different, invest in your people.
Think it costs too much to pay for training? Stop and think about what it costs when you don’t. How many donor relationships languish? How many gifts aren’t given because the ask isn’t made?
By providing ongoing training and support to your resource development staff, you are ensuring the future success of your nonprofit.
The next time there’s an opportunity to provide training for your staff, don’t immediately discount it if there’s a cost involved.
There’s a saying that “how you do anything is how you do everything” and I believe it’s 100% true.
If you take the cheap way to get training for your people, you may take the cheap route on everything, and that’s not going to build a strong organization.
If you choose to invest in your staff and Board’s education, do it right. Make the investment, then make the most of the investment by soaking up and implementing everything you can from the training.
One more thing – I’ve learned over the years that the more you invest in your organization, the more others will invest in your organization.