Whats the best way to build our development team?

Susan Jacobson

“It’s hard to hire good development people. It’s even harder to retain them. High turnover, long vacancies, and performance issues are exceedingly common in development offices.”


Susan Jacobson

If your organization is hiring its first development director or struggling to fill the job after a vacancy, we have a recommendation that may surprise you: Get your fundraising program in shape BEFORE you hire.


By asking your board and senior leaders to meet with donors and warm-up key relationships prior to hiring, you will understand the demands of your donors.  It will help you identify the specific skills and attributes you will need in your new DOD, and it will strengthen your portfolio of prospective donors and make the job more attractive to good candidates.


Top-tier development professionals gravitate to positions where they will succeed and enjoy the work. By demonstrating your genuine appreciation of the challenges they will face, and by assuring them you will be there to support them, you will recruit the right candidate. And your team will thrive.