Do You Have the Right Development Director? Take this Quiz

Do You Have the Right Development Director? Take this Quiz Have you ever hired the “perfect” development director only to be disappointed? The individual looked good on paper and interviewed well—yet they failed to meet your expectations on the job.

How can you avoid this challenge in the future?

Understand that development directors fail for three common reasons. Two reasons are internal to the nonprofit and need to be corrected. The third involves hiring well or current staff. This quiz focuses on the last issue.

This quiz consists of eight questions to explore the candidate’s or current staff’s skills and talents. Rank the individual on the following characteristics. Share the questions with the person and ask them to rank themselves and discuss their answers.

Rank the individual or yourself on the one to four scales, with four being high. (If you add the scores together and divide by eight, you will have a score akin to a college grade point average, allowing you to compare candidates.)

Does the individual:

1.    Genuinely like people? Are they comfortable with individuals even when they drone on or reveal annoying-to-most-people idiosyncrasies?

2.    Demonstrate outstanding relationship management skills? For instance, do they keep promises, organize subsequent interactions, and otherwise take the onus of moving relationships forward?

3.    Like to educate donors about how their contributions to your nonprofit can make the change the donor seeks? Do they construct investment options for donors that create a win-win for the donor and nonprofit?

4.    Build relationships between the donor and the nonprofit instead of the donors and themselves?

5.    Discern and reduce their time investment after a reasonable period if they discover that the prospect just likes to be courted?

6.    Close gifts? Many great “people people” don’t make good development staff because they lack this skill.

7.    Help leaders, especially the CEO and Board, to improve their development skills and enhance their philanthropy?

8.    Possess impeccable ethics? For example, individuals with impeccable ethics face temptations to tell “little white lies” to close gifts, but they refrain from the practice.

Warning: Not every candidate or staff member needs to be a “four” on all these characteristics and skills to succeed in development. You want your development director to rank high on innate traits (1, 6) and, at a minimum, be working on the other skills. [1]

For more fundraising resources, check out these revenue development videos and posts. Need more help? It’s super easy to connect with Karen for a mini-consult or more. Click here to email or here to chat.

Note: Thanks to CEO participants in Karen’s Conversation on Hiring and Retaining Development Staff for weighing and identifying the essence of the development director role, something few job descriptions or interviews capture.

[1] Skill based questions: 2, 4, 5, 7. Innate: 1, 6.  A Mixture of Innate and Skills: 3-liking to teach is innate, doing it well is skill-based, 8-embracing good ethics if not innate is forged through a life-time experience, identifying ethical issues is partially skill-based

Author
Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.