It’s interesting to note that one of the things preventing accelerated giving in North America is the retention of talent. Donors have said that the reason why they are no longer able to give donations is that their contacts in organizations keep changing. This poses a threat to the fundraising activities of organizations which is why Aaron Sanderson says that it is crucial for team members to build rapport with donors not for themselves but for their specific organization. He says that cultivating these relationships should be the main priority of fundraising leaders, the question is, how do they motivate their team members to do this? And more importantly, how do they encourage talent retention in their organization?

Aaron Sanderson is the Vice President of Philanthropy at Plan International Canada. He is an international award-winning fundraiser with over 13 years of experience at leading not-for-profit organizations like War Child Canada, SickKids Foundation, and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. He also has over 8 years of senior volunteer experience with not-for-profit boards and committees including AFP Toronto, Habitat for Humanity, the Arthritis Society, Heritage Toronto, and the University of British Columbia.

On this episode of the Philanthropy 212 podcast, Penny talks with Aaron Sanderson about leadership development for fundraisers, the challenges posed by the new generation of fundraisers, the importance of emphasizing the need to build connections for the organization, and why checking in on team members is crucial in retaining talent.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [00:27] Penny introduces her guest, Aaron Sanderson
  • [01:43] Aaron’s experience in leading new fundraisers and developing their talents
  • [03:18] What donors feel about constant changes in the team members of fundraisers
  • [04:56] Why it’s important for fundraisers to build relationships for their organization and not for their own personal network and why this poses a challenge for fundraising organizations
  • [05:58] The role of leaders in managing the risks of losing the opportunity of building good relationships with donors 
  • [09:24] The new trends and challenges in training, engaging, and mentoring fundraisers
  • [13:47] How Aaron’s organization approaches the incorporation of team members and how they keep them motivated
  • [15:45] The value of checking in with your team and creating a family within the team
  • [19:10] Work done by Plan International Canada
  • [20:39] Aaron shares three things that new fundraising leaders need to keep in mind

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This episode is brought to you by Philanthropy212,  a fundraising consulting company focusing on helping not-for-profit organizations to build sustainable practices and programs that raise more money. Philanthropy212’s founder, Penny Cowden, has 25 years experience in the industry & has helped raise more than $100 million for non-profits such as PeaceHealth, Sisters of Charity, Inova Health System, Banner Health System and Sun Health.