Everyone In The Office Is On the Development Team

Delivery man in development imageThis may be breaking news to your accounting staff, human resources, receptionists or even the cleaning crew, but they are all on the development team. Any time someone who works for your organization answers the phone, interacts with a donor or volunteer or prepares a space for an important meeting with a funder, they are part of your agency’s development effort. And if they are well-versed, and passionately articulate, about the mission, organizational achievements or even the capabilities of staff colleagues, he or she is representing the enterprise and, more importantly, advancing the development effort.

A conversation that the person who sits at the front desk has with the Fed Ex deliveryman could easily lead to a $25 donation this year – and who knows what in the future.

Is your staff training ensuring everyone speaks the same message?

The Company Pitch
Each and every employee should know:

      • * the elevator pitch (the organization-sanctioned 30 second speech that describes the mission, vision and values of the organization), and

* how to transition a relationship to someone who can manage a prospects/donor’s interest in the organization.

Every member of the staff should understand the development process—the path through which every prospect ideally travels to become a donor:

      • * identification;
      • * prospect research;
      • * cultivation;
      • * solicitation; and

* stewardship of the relationship.

Staff Training
An investment in staff training allows you to provide your staff with the necessary skills to represent the organization in the best possible light. And, it also tells your staff how much you value them—how important they are to the success of the enterprise and the important work that you do.

You cannot control everything that is said about the organization in the community, but by helping your staff develop into the best possible advocates for your organization, they will feel good about the work that they do every day. Then, more people with whom your staff comes in contact every day will come to appreciate your agency and the valuable contributions you make to the community. Remember, whether someone offers you an in-kind contribution, a discount for products or services, or a direct donation, everyone has the potential to be a donor. Help your staff understand that and feel good about engaging. Recognize your staff for what their efforts enable you to achieve—as you would recognize any member of the development team for their good work. You will be rewarded in countless ways.