Creating a Game Plan for Staffing Changes

Creating a Game Plan for Staffing Changes

In the last five days four former colleagues have approached us to be a reference for job interviews. Each individual is in a fundraising position. Recent research shows that a fundraiser spends an average of 16 months in a position. The direct and indirect costs of finding a replacement: $127,650.A lot of attention is given to how to retain staff. The linked Chronicle of Philanthropy article covers several ideas that include, better pay, internal promotion, training, and easing worker schedules. Even if you do all the right things, you will still have staff turnover and the institutional memory void that comes with it.

Below are some easy steps so that you can avoid letting relationship management, social media, and online fundraising slip through the cracks due to a staff departure.

Relationship Management – Come up with a relationship management game plan. If the staff person is leaving on amicable terms, take the opportunity to work on a plan of action with them. Determine who will take over as an interim relationship manager (RM) and ask the outgoing staff to make introductions for you; constituents want to know where a staff person is going and would often prefer to hear about it directly from the person. Ensure that the interim RM has enough bandwidth to handle requests and be proactive in communication.

Social Media – Avoid gaps in social media content. Assign someone to post content and monitor for replies. If the departing staff person isn’t leaving on the best terms, ensure that you change the passwords to all of your logins. If you don’t have the staff resources to post regularly, let your constituents know that you’re taking a break on social media. It’s better to be honest, than non-communicative.

Online Fundraising – Determine who is responsible for constituent questions and problems. Ensure that all auto-responder email accounts are accessible to the new RM prior to the staff departure. If any of your event autoresponders or email deck has the employee’s name in the signature, ensure that you update each one.

As you encounter inevitable change, these simple steps will help to avoid future headache.

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