Have you ever thought that you might just quit? Walk away, brush the dust off and just try to start over? If so, you’re in good company. You probably saw all of the information that was shared earlier this year about the report, UnderDeveloped. In it, the writer reported that a full 50% of participants indicated they were planning on leaving their jobs within the next two years. And a significant portion of those are planning on leaving the development / fundraising field completely!
Why is this so concerning? Instability in the development office means that it is very difficult for staff to develop long-term relationships with donors. Donors can also get tired of a constant stream of new people coming through and introducing themselves – it can erode confidence and negatively impact the amount of money that is able to be raised.
If you’re one of the 50% who are thinking about leaving soon, please don’t jump ship too soon. Take time to reflect and ask yourself these questions:
- Is there anything I could do to make this situation better? Sometimes decisions are made that don’t appear to make sense. It could be that those making the decision don’t know everything that you know. Could you have a frank discussion in which you ask questions about the decision – and share the information you have that could change the decision?
- Do I really know everything I need to know to be successful? If not, how can you learn what you need to know? And if your organization won’t cover the cost, sometimes it’s a good idea to find a way to pay for it yourself. Even if you decide to not stay in your current position, continuing education can be a great leverage point to ask for a higher salary.
- Am I using the same language that everyone else is using? In other words, do the words you’re using to talk about fundraising mean the same thing to the person you’re talking to as they do to you? Communication is essential and it’s possible you’re having a totally different discussion than the other person thinks you’re having.
I understand that I don’t know everything about your situation, so this may not be practical for you. However if you feel like it’s worth a shot, and you want some help and support to figure out how to make it work, please send me an email and we’ll talk to see if I can help.