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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

School Fundraising Representatives - Special Report

It struck me recently that I may want to take a minute to discuss the present situation with fundraising representatives.  Almost a state of the union if you will.  The thing is, I have one of the only real fundraising blogs out there not designed just to generate Google traffic and as you know, I don't hold back much. 

In this instance, it's a bit of an uncomfortable topic for me.  Regardless, let's give it a shot.

The first thing to get out there is that fundraising reps are great people.  I've known a lot of reps personally and and there is a self-sufficiency and drive that I see and respect in every one of them.  I also come from a sales background so I have an appreciation for what they do every single day.

The second thing to note is that fundraising representatives certainly do like things to be predictable.  Change does not necessarily meet a fundraising representative with open arms :)  Fundraising representatives like to do things with some consistency and repeatability - a good trait no doubt for a salesperson who works with the same groups year after year.

The industry is going through a consolidation which means that there are less fundraising companies.  There are still great companies out there to work with, but there are fewer every year. 

I began to wonder if there was some anxiety about the fact that there are less good fundraising companies to work for as the industry consolidates.  I came up with a few questions I thought to explore:

How are fundraising reps throughout the country responding to the changes in the industry and what is the outlook on their job opportunities moving forward?

Do changes in the industry impact a fundraising representatives chances of being predictable, consistent as mentioned above?

Great questions but as it turns out, fundraising representatives have survived for years, adapting and improving along the way despite logs of ups and downs.  As with any other industry, we have had our fair share of fundraising issues as well as economic ones to deal with.

People are always in flux.

Just like any other sales job, people move on either in favor of new opportunities no matter what the circumstances.  They also move on because companies scale back, close up shop or the job no longer has the upside it once did.  So, there may not be as many fundraising reps as there once was but that doesn't mean the job is inconsistent for those who have been in the business for a while. 

There really doesn't appear to be any anxiety out there.

We can't forget the many fundraising representatives that have been with their companies for a very long time.  They are happy and profitable and consistent.  There are just fewer places that this is occurring, but it is happening. 

Having said that, I want to quickly mention that some veteran fundraising representatives will be looking for a place to call home before retirement.  I hope they find the place that suits their needs as they are the real deal.

So, all-in-all, the outlook for fundraising reps looks good for 2011 and this year is shaping up to be a fun adventure! 

I would encourage your comments here on my blog.  Obviously writing about something like this is a bit of a challenge.  Because everyone is an individual with unique goals and experiences, it's hard to really say what fundraising representatives on the whole believe and think.  I hope I did alright tackling this one. 

Catch you soon and please feel free to leave comments, good or bad below.  Thanks!

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