When you’re job-seeking, it’s natural to focus on demonstrating how you’re a good fit for the organization. But, it’s also important to feel confident that the organization is a place where you can succeed as a fundraiser. Asking these four key interview questions will help prepare you to make an informed decision about whether the job is right for you.
Does the organization have a development plan? If so, get a sense of what it entails so you can determine if it’s a match for your skills and interests. For example: do they rely on four special events each year; does their membership program bring in the majority of funds; or does the organization depend on funding from a few key grants each year? If the organization doesn’t have a fundraising plan in place, ask if that’s something they’re looking to implement, and if the position you’re applying for would have a role in that process (for reference, we offer guidance on creating a development plan here).
What is the organization’s fundraising goal for this year, and did they meet their goal last year? It’s also a good idea to ask who is involved in setting those goals each year to make sure they aren’t set in isolation from the development office.
Does the development staff communicate directly with board members? Communication is crucial for a good working relationship. As a fundraiser, you need to develop a rapport with your board members so that you can collaborate to reach the organization’s fundraising goals. If development staff can’t call or email board members directly and instead are required to go through the executive director in order to communicate, it may be challenging to work effectively together.
What regularly scheduled meetings are held? Which of those meetings does this position participate in? These answers will give you a glimpse into how the staff currently works together and can reveal potential silos in the organization or potential for collaboration. Ideally, development staff and program staff are aware of each other’s responsibilities and priorities so that they can work in support of each other.
The interview process is a great opportunity to collect key information to help you decide if an organization and the position you’re applying for are a good match for you. And if an offer is made and you accept it, we’ve got you covered with 5 secrets to success in your new fundraising job.
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