Over the last few weeks, Keith and I have both encountered the same issue with nonprofits boards that have recently hired a development director. I know it’s a very big step for small nonprofits to take, but it should not be done with the intention of that person solving all the fundraising issues and challenges of an organization.
As a matter of fact, if you’re a small nonprofit, you may not be able to afford an experienced major-gifts fundraiser. That means your CEO and board will still need to shoulder the responsibility for those donors and prospects.
Also, it may not be the best move to hire someone for the development position whose primary background is special events. Most small nonprofits hold a few events—someone with that background may put more focus on those rather than cultivating and stewarding major donors in person.