Fundraisers - Top 3 traits to look for when recruiting?

Published: 08 Jul 2014 By Morgan Hunt

Good help is hard to find, especially in the charity sector. Fundraising in particular requires a unique type of individual to succeed. In our experience successful fundraisers aren’t cast from the same mould, they come in every conceivable shape and size and typically come into the profession after doing something else, which is what makes them so hard to define.

Finding the right fit

At Morgan Hunt, we’ve had the privilege of working with many fantastic charities. In our 10 years we’ve conducted numerous in-depth interviews, background checks and surveys to get to the bottom of the most desirable characteristics for a potential fundraiser. But it works both ways - and finding a great fit with the charity is just as important.

Successful fundraisers share several common attributes  including their commercial background, innovative resourcefulness, and hard-line yet forward-thinking strategic approaches toward fundraising – all attributes that charitable organisations are looking for in their candidates.

Why? Government funding has been cut - often in a substantial manner for charities because of austerity measures in light of the global economic crisis, so commercial-minded candidates are key.

Some of the top benefits in working for the charity sector include:

• Sense of well-being for the opportunity of being part of a noble cause (i.e., helping the less fortunate)
• Flexible working schedules that allow for shorter working hours and longer holidays
• More relaxed working environment combined with plenty of opportunities to meet people from all walks of life
• Casual dress code in most instances
• Opportunities to acquire and develop transferable skills, such as fluency in oral and written communication, proficiency in negotiation, and ability to organise community efforts, among others.

Top traits to look out for

These benefits should be emphasised when you are recruiting for potential fundraisers - preferably with a commercial background. But, you should also look for the following desirable traits to separate the wheat from the chaff in your selection of candidates:

1. Excellent communicator - The most successful fundraisers have excellent communication skills - or at least, they possess good communication skills that allow them to communicate the message, inspire donors to take the desired action, and report the results of their donations, among others. Good communicators are usually warm, engaging, and able to adapt to various situations and peoples.

2. Passionate, enthusiastic and generous about the cause - Fundraisers are in the business of inspiring people about their cause - therefore, passion and enthusiasm must be part of their personal and professional makeup.

3. Strategic, innovative and resourceful - With the cuts in government funding, successful fundraisers must use innovative and resourceful strategies in engaging and encouraging donors for the cause. But they should look beyond donors and expand their horizons toward other stakeholders as well.

Other desirable traits in successful fundraisers include vigilance and conscientiousness, organised and systematic work methods and an optimistic attitude. Being a team player is a must too - since charity work is always a team effort.


About Morgan Hunt
At Morgan Hunt, we appreciate that one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you are a global company, SME, government body or institution, we tailor our recruitment to fit you, offering specialist recruitment services to a diverse range of clients in the public, not for profit and commercial sectors.
Our experienced recruitment consultants in London, Birmingham and Manchester recruit into education, hr, housing, charities, health organisations as well as finance, administration, marketing, infrastructure, energy and property and construction.

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