Finding and retaining fundraising talent

By November 14, 2019October 1st, 2020Uncategorized

The world needs highly skilled, invested, and professional development staff who can focus their time effectively and are inspired to make a real impact. The IDPE Benchmarking Report clearly tells us that successful fundraising outcomes can certainly be linked back to focused and dedicated time from skilled staff.

Recruiting fundraising talent is incredibly competitive. The sector has rapidly expanded in the UK over the last two decades, which means there is a limited pool of successful, ambitious, and experienced fundraisers to pick from. This results in more time and money being spent to attract the right candidates.

Say you land that dream applicant. Your new colleague is experienced, passionate, ambitious, and fits your school culture. Guess what? Chances are others will want them! Your job isn’t finished when you’re finished recruiting. You need to work to retain your great fundraisers too. Research has shown that 84% of frontline fundraisers with at least two years of Major Gift experience received at least three recruiting contacts within a year, and 27% received MORE than three recruitment approaches.

Give yourself an advantage

No matter whether you’re focused on recruitment or retention, Graham-Pelton has partnered with clients to successfully bring rigour into both. This is an investment that pays dividends in saved time, labour, and cost. For both new candidates and within established teams, mentoring and coaching support for new and experienced fundraisers alike can create an enriching working environment for staff.

At Graham-Pelton, we know there are a set of key personality traits that successful fundraisers should have. We also believe that limited sector experience can be overcome with the right approach and attitude. Organisations must not overlook candidates who showcase excellent skill but are newer to the sector. Including personality profiling in your recruitment process arms you with a wealth of knowledge, determining how candidates with any level of experience can cope under pressure, have the right approach, and rise to the challenge.

This article is part of a series providing our analysis and key takeaways from the 2016-2018 Graham-Pelton/IDPE Benchmarking Report. Read other articles or sign-up for our email list to have the latest news on the benchmarking report and other fundraising tips sent straight to your inbox.

All Services

Fundraising Strategy

  • Annual giving
  • Planned giving
  • Principal and major gifts
  • Risk assessment


  • Planning studies
  • Campaign strategy and counsel
  • Campaign assessments and audits
  • Communications
  • Coaching

Attraction and Retention

  • Donor relations
  • Alumni relations
  • Grateful patient programs
  • International scoping
  • Member relations

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Operational assessments
  • Talent assessments and development
  • Training and engagement
  • Interim staffing

Business Intelligence

  • Prospect profiling
  • Database optimization
  • Wealth screening and analysis
  • Fundraising metrics


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