5 Must-Ask Questions During Your Fundraising Interview

If you are job hunting for a fundraising job, I strongly encourage you to get your questions answered before the details of an offer are even discussed.

Start with these must-ask questions.

1. How do you measure fundraising success and assess my effectiveness?
You should know if your efforts will be judged by dollar goals, contact frequency, and/or departmental objectives.

2. Has your organization made a mistake in working with a donor – what happened?
You want to understand the leadership’s perspective on ethics in relationship-building.

3. What happens to a new idea?
You need to hear a story (or two) to figure out if ideas thrive or die.

4. How does a typical board member participate in fundraising?
You better determine how much engagement is or is not already happening.

5. What is the fundraising database used for?
You can tell a lot about how an organization manages its fundraising activities by how it uses and doesn’t use its database.

What other questions are important to ask when interviewing for a fundraising position?  Please leave a comment with your idea.

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3 Comments

  1. Terrific reminders Jessica.

    Don’t forget to ask about staff turnover! Is this a new position? Are you (as I have been) the fifth development director in three years? Do they understand the concept of donor-centric fundraising – of building relationships – or are they looking for a quick fix?

    Reply
    • Great addition, Pamela. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Reply
  2. I would agree with Pamela; turnover and burnout on a team is never a good sign. Another question to be asked is: How do you handle donors who come to you with a desire to support opportunities that don’t yet exist at your organization? This gives you insight into their openess to growth.

    Reply

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