Whether you have development staff, key development volunteers or a mix of both – staff turnover is truly a challenge. Research shows that development departments/programs/efforts are a constantly churning pot and there are many reasons for the churn.
If you are seeing a trend in turnover or a constant shift in direction of development efforts I would suggest a moment to stop, think, and articulate the root cause. You must give yourself permission to take time, to really think on the “why” of it and get to the root cause. You need to do that.
Be honest. Be brutally honest with yourself on this. Ask yourself why your nonprofit is churning through development staff and moving from effort to effort –moving from “someone’s new best idea ever” to the next. Ask yourself why, even with all these tremendous efforts, your revenue is not meeting goal or is not steady and growing each year.
Once you have your answer(s), test them with your key people and see what they think. Take your time, don’t rush, and remember be brave and honest – it is critical that you all are.
Now that you have the root cause, and you and your team have put it into words, you can begin to address it, move past it and plan for a different future. The questioning and conversation may be hard, but the path you are on now is hard, and you can pick your hard.