Case Studies

Realigning Development Staff in a Nonprofit

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

The Situation

Our client, a national nonprofit, planned to double revenue from fundraising over the next several years. The rapid expansion of the development team led to “growing pains” and management challenges. As a result, payroll costs were growing faster than revenue. Staffing Advisors was invited to review the structure of the development team, and recommend a solution that would accelerate fundraising growth and build department capacity while minimizing payroll costs.

Our Analysis

We found that as the organization had grown in size and complexity, their traditional mechanisms to solve problems were failing to keep up. The most common solution to this kind of problem is to add another layer of management, but that would have been prohibitively expensive, and would not have added fundraising capacity.

In our discussions with the client, we identified several key capacity constraints in the development function:

  • The organization was over-reliant on a few key people with broad skills and deep institutional knowledge.
  • Complex internal decision-making processes were creating bottlenecks and inefficiencies, hampering growth.
  • The organization did not have enough people with the right kinds of skills meeting with donors in their high growth areas.

The Result Of Our Work

Rather than adding a layer of management, Staffing Advisors collaborated with the client to develop an organizational structure that streamlined decision-making, limited management overhead cost, and maximized time spent with donors in target markets. We developed position descriptions and filled several key positions. As a result of our collaboration, the organization is well-positioned to achieve their ambitious goals.

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