Vicky Quinn, recruitment sales director at Third Sector Jobs, says charities need to celebrate the sector, upskill the next generation of fundraisers and communicate why they are ‘employers of choice’.
Job opportunities are rising
According to Third Sector Jobs - the official job site for Third Sector magazine - the demand for strong fundraisers is growing. In the last year alone, 11,000 fundraising roles were posted on the site - more than any other function in the sector.
"This is good news for fundraisers", enthuses Quinn. "However, there are also challenges for recruiters. There are more part-time roles than there is talent to fill them. And we’re seeing more regional roles advertised but charities are finding it difficult to recruit regionally. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure recruitment advertising is highly targeted.
"There is a growing demand for skills such as communications, marketing and sales, but it’s proving challenging to attract suitable candidates with these skills. Upskilling existing staff should be a top priority, whilst ensuring your employee package is as attractive as possible to talent that may be open to moving from the private sector."
Fundraising roles are evolving
A fundraising professional’s remit is a lot wider than it used to be. They may be typically working in smaller teams than before but they also have more responsibilities that now involve engaging with the media, building community partnerships and cross-team collaboration.
As Quinn explains: "Fundraising roles are becoming more diverse and interesting. We’ve seen from a range of Challenge events how fundraising is increasingly crossing over with communications functions - to create effective social media campaigns, for example. Charities are also constantly trying to upskill fundraisers in media and communications, which is exciting for both candidates’ career prospects and in turn, the recruiters hiring them."
Champion your charity as an ‘employer of choice’
Fundraising teams continue to make a big difference to the communities they serve, amidst intense public scrutiny. Quinn urges charities to use this as an opportunity to tell their story and champion themselves as an employer of choice: "Tell people what’s great about working for your charity. Show off your integrity and where your fundraising revenue is being spent. Showcase examples of where your activities have had a big impact.
"In addition, make sure you have the best training and development programmes. Run graduate schemes to attract top talent at an early stage in their careers and be prepared to support them."
Do more than a job listing
Do you know what your ideal candidate looks like and what skills they should have? Are you targeting them through various streams?
"There is much more you can do to attract the best candidates, beyond posting a job ad and speaking to a recruitment consultant", says Quinn. "Get under their skin to understand what your ideal candidates are looking for, then build a candidate profile so you can meet their needs.
"Finally, speak to your own staff and ask them what media they engage with. Find out what events they attend. Consider content pieces you could sponsor or whitepapers you could produce that communicate your messages and raise your charity’s employer brand."
The future of fundraising recruitment
What does the future hold for fundraising recruitment? "We’ll see a wider skills remit", says Quinn. "In order to future proof the fundraising sector, recruiters need to start looking for candidates who can collaborate with other teams, have strong digital skills and an understanding of the media landscape.
"Here at Third Sector Jobs, we can help charities to create engaging content and find the right talent from the widest candidate audience. We also have sister publications across other sectors such as marketing, digital and HR, which can help you broaden your reach beyond the third sector and widen your talent pool further."
Quinn summarises three steps to help future proof your fundraising team:
1. Know your ideal candidate profile
2. Target them specifically
3. Champion your success in fundraising and the wider third sector
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your recruitment needs.