Everyone who employs a fundraiser knows just how hard it is to keep hold of the good ones, and how impossibly difficult it is to replace them.
As a result, salaries are creeping upwards (about time, too, I hear you say) and more and more money is spent on recruitment.
Many organisations are looking at ever more imaginative and exciting ways to support, motivate and retain high-quality staff. One technique that we know works is the recognition of success through awards.
Every year, the first night of the Institute of Fundraising Convention sees the annual Awards Dinner take place. This year, we have carried out a total re-branding of 'The Awards', a joint collaboration between the Institute and Professional Fundraising, which is the premier recognition of the best of fundraising in the UK.
Nowhere else is there such a concentrated celebration of achievement in fundraising excellence by fundraisers. Just ask those who have won in the past what entering, let alone winning, did for morale within a fundraising team. Can you imagine the impact of not being entered if, on the night, you believe you and your colleagues achieved greater results but didn't bother to enter? Go and see your boss, or leave the application form open on their desk. Surely your efforts are worth a mere 500 words of praise?
The nine categories include Best New Fundraiser, Best Use of Events, Regional/Local Campaign of the Year, and Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year.
It's sad that only one of many great nominations can win each category, but being entered, never mind winning, can act as a real boost to you and your team.
Fundraisers always know that "Thank You" is the most important phrase in their vocabulary, but we all need reminding that they are also often the favourite words of a successful manager.
Entry details are available from the Institute's website in the section on the Convention.