As consultants, we have the opportunity to meet and work with development professionals in a variety of cultures. Working closely with colleagues who have chosen this profession allows all of us to share experiences, exchange ideas and celebrate successes on behalf of the organizations we serve.
Interim staffing opportunities are especially rewarding. They give us time to understand more deeply what makes an organization tick and the motivation behind its current fundraising strategies.
At the same time, we can view a team’s strengths and challenges from 10,000 feet—a perspective most staff members lose as they engage in the day-to-day activities of their work. As interim staff, we are able to present a broader frame of reference for our clients.
Here are several unique ways we are able to assist our clients through interim staffing assignments:
- We help rising development professionals (possibly in their first or second job without an established professional network) develop a career path, including growth opportunities within their current organization. We can also share this information with management, which helps them identify employees who are ready for increased responsibility.
- On the other hand, since the nonprofit workforce is fairly fluid, many development departments experience frequent personnel turnover. When such changes blur the lines of responsibility, we are able to suggest transition strategies and clearly define development team expectations.
- As consultants, we are focused on the big picture. We can, therefore, spot structural patterns that may not support best practices or serve the organization well. Often, it is simply a matter of bringing these situations—and solutions—to the leadership’s attention before they develop into complex problems.
- Staff members with whom we work directly may approach us to assess their performance or the validity of a particular prospect or programming strategy. In these cases, we can validate employees’ work and give them the confidence to strive for even greater accomplishments. Our input can also be an important contribution to an individual’s professional development.
Whether we are engaged in a formal coaching relationship, in an organic mentorship guiding a staff member through fundraising strategies or as consultants navigating relationship dynamics, we approach every situation with the same integrity and confidentiality as the employees and leadership we serve.
Our goal is to advance the success of every client by helping each person function effectively as an individual and as a professional member of the development team.