LISTEN TO THIS! In the sixties, people theorized the work week would shrink to 25 hours by the 1990’s because of technology and innovation. HAHAHAHA!

We could get everything done in a fraction of the time with all this new technology. Makes sense right? Some even worried there would be a leisure crisis in America. There were even U.S. Senate committee hearings on the issue!

Keep reading when you’re done laughing.

There’s certainly a lot to discuss on that matter, but one of the biggest challenges fundraisers face is outdated and inefficient internal development operations. They slow you down and keep you from doing your best work.

Here are two important operational questions to ask:.

#1: Does my job description and expectations align with reality?

A job description is more than just an HR document. It is an understanding which should accurately and clearly establish roles and responsibilities for both parties. Many fundraising professionals have a development director job description but, in reality, are expected to be the chief marketing officer, volunteer coordinator, event planner, bookkeeper, special projects manager, and extra admin support. Meanwhile, their effectiveness is measured by how much money they raise.

This disconnect creates internal challenges and conflict. It makes it difficult to prioritize and manage projects, lead others, and causes confusion and stress among the team members. In the Underdeveloped Report, 41% of development directors responded they did not have a strong relationship with their executive director. This disconnect is a major factor.

Review your job description regularly to evaluate its accuracy and relevance. Make this part of your self-evaluation and discuss your with your leader. Gaining clarity and understanding on both sides will go a long way.

BONUS TIP: Don’t use “other duties as assigned” as an excuse not to be as detailed and thoughtful in the body of the job description. While we want to be team players, it’s also not an excuse to casually add tasks and responsibilities to the fundraising staff.

#2: Where am I investing my time?

With all the resources we now have, managing our time effectively is still incredibly difficult.

One tool you can start using today is a time tracking app. I know… tracking your time sounds awful. However, knowing empirically how your time is spent is liberating.

Take it one step at a time. Start by tracking the time you spend on your special event. Or maybe how much time you spend getting ready for and attending meetings.

Thankfully, there are apps that make it incredibly easy: Toggl Track, Life Cycle, Hours Tracker, Justworks, HourStack, Timely, and TrackingTime are a few.

Make a commitment to track your time on something specific over the next several weeks. You may find it’s not as awful as you think.

Quick tip: Schedule “response time” in your calendar. You don’t know what unexpected opportunity or crisis will arise, but you know they will. A good way to start is by blocking out two hours each day a week in ahead to respond. Another option may be to block off one morning and one afternoon each week.

“Activity is often unrelated to productivity, and busyness rarely takes care of business.”
– Gary Keller

There’s so much more that can be discussed with development operations. It’s one of the six key areas of development we work on together when I conduct a fundraising audit.

Would you like to better understand the ROI of your current fundraising strategies?

CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE strategy session and let’s talk about helping you uncover your highest performing activities.

​All the best,

Kenny Sigler, CFRE