30%. That is the percentage of fundraisers that plan to leave our sector within the next 24 months. Take a moment and let that exodus sink in. That’s not a turnover statistic (projected turnover is even higher at 51%). 30% of fundraisers will LEAVE the sector all together. That is a massive loss of talent for our sector and I can’t figure out why we aren’t doing more to address it.
Imagine if tomorrow’s headlines read, “A nation in crisis: 30% of surgeons plan to quit the health care field in the next 24 months!” Or teachers, or pilots, or any other group of workers critical for our economy. The outpouring of “why” and “how do we fix this” would be substantial, I imagine. Yet, in a sector that is built upon taking care of those who often can’t advocate for themselves, we continue to walk past this crisis and accept it as “just the way it is.” Those of us who have been in the sector long enough know that to be the case – because this statistic has been fairly constant for at least the last 10 years.
The turnover alone costs our sector billions of dollars every year in search, onboarding, lost opportunities, and more. So what is the cost of losing these experienced fundraisers on our sector? I get it – it’s overwhelming to contemplate and easier to shrug our shoulders and hope something changes.
But that’s not how change happens.
We all need to roll up our sleeves and do our part to change this. The combination of small efforts can spark big change to get the flywheel turning. So I encourage you to talk to your development team. Hear them. Search for ways to address some of their concerns. If you’re a funder, go out on a limb and ask to have a candid conversation with the ED and Development Team about their fundraising challenges and how you can help. Trust me, it will make a difference.
Together we CAN turn the tide on the fundraising exodus of talent. Onward and upward.