have any of you been successful in advocating for a dedicated database/advancement services person for your very small shop? We currently do not have one and I am building a case for a FTE compliment position, which is drastically needed, but curious to see if any of you have built a case for a similar role and if so, would you share any information or resources to support our argument?
Adding on to what Steve said-see if you can get the cost of a 40-hour consultant. Some orgs don’t realize that a really good consultant or contractor can run you anywhere from $30-59/hr depending on where you are located. And while they might make the case that it’s still cheaper when figuring in benefits etc for a FTE-they don’t realize it understand the price you’ll pay with someone who a) has no loyalty to you (they could leave at any time and b) has no personal investment in your donors.
I would also take look back over a month and simply list the tasks that you have done that a DBA/Development specialist could have done and what you had to postpone our couldn’t do so all because you were busy doing those tasks
Considering data is the lifeblood of any non-profit/fundraising organization, seems very remiss at the basic level to not have a single position in charge of ensuring gifts are properly booked by IRS standards and that the basic data of your donors/potential donors is kept up-to-date and maintained. I would approach from both the pro’s and con’s of this FTE clearly lining out the strategic importance of this work to the organization. In addition, bolstering the case with such facts as the number of gifts processed should give everyone a good idea of the need. The other option is to seek to outsource this need which will also bear a cost, mostly likely larger than bolstering the need with an FTE. Lastly, describing how not hiring this FTE will have a negative impact on donor experience, should help advocate for this role.
I would try to calculate an ROI – is it possible to outline how many hours a week you (or someone else) is doing the work this individual would be responsible for? If you were to get that time back, what could you be focusing on your time on and what is the impact of that time?
Additionally, if a FTE is a big step, is this a role that could be filled by a consultant that spends <40 hours per week providing support?