This post is Part 4 in a series about fundraisers that stick. Click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Proactive. That’s the fourth characteristic to look for when hiring a fundraiser who you hope will stay with your organization and be a key part of your success.

As noted in a prior post, fundraising has changed considerably. Sadly, some fundraisers have not changed along with it. They are still trying to make the round peg of a past success fit into the square hole of today’s opportunity. Equally problematic is the fundraiser who is constantly running to the brightest new thing, thinking that must be the holy grail of fundraising success.

In both these scenarios, one thing is missing: what the donor wants. If our donors have grown bored of an event, changing the menu isn’t going to revive it. And if our donors aren’t interested in printing their own receipts from a link they get in an email, they aren’t going to feel appreciated (and possibly inclined to give again).

A proactive fundraiser is always asking “what if?” But he or she is also asking “why?” Making a change can be very good if donors embrace it and find it helps them achieve their goals as a donor to you. But if we leave donors behind by our proactive efforts, we risk losing them either intentionally or simply because they just can’t keep up.

This series began by discussing the sad reality of donor loyalty. A proactive fundraiser makes changes – or leaves things the same – based on what impact he or she thinks it will have on donor loyalty. He or she is proactive about improving what works instead of assuming it will always keep working. He or she is listening to donors who are unhappy, but also proactively asking those who seldom complain how the organization can help enrich their experiences as a donor.

  • When hiring a fundraiser, look for passion – for the mission, yes, but also for donors and for continual improvement.
  • Seek someone who is precise and sees everything through the lens of donor loyalty.
  • Expect personality that shows itself in a love of doing the work with integrity and with a donor focus.
  • And expect proactivity in making decisions that further the donor’s relationship with the organization, not leaves them feeling disconnected to the mission that once excited them and caused them to give.

A fundraiser who sticks with you can be a great asset to an organization. But a passionate, precise, personable and proactive fundraiser who sticks with you can help lead that organization to even greater things over the long-term.

The previous articles can be read here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.