Fundraising is a huge part of any nonprofit executive’s job'”there is just NO getting away from that fact. For those managing small nonprofit organizations, fund development can take up a very high percentage of the day’s activities. While fundraising is important, when a nonprofit executive has to constantly focus on chasing funds, writing grant proposals and meeting with donors, it can have a negative impact on the overall health and stability of the organization. Other things suffer.
When an executive director, CEO, or manager has to spend all his or her time trying to find the money to keep the doors open, things like planning, administration, staff oversight and program coordination will suffer. An organization without strong programs and clear short-term and long-term plans is a weak organization. Consider that grantmakers WANT to fund strong programs and they will be looking for solid strategy and the capacity within the organization to carry out plans. Not to mention, individual donors also want to fund programs and services'”not simply give money because they are asked.
Executive directors or managers who must spend all their time trying to scrape together funds have a tendency to get burned out much faster than those who have some security and balance in their jobs. It is important for executives of nonprofit organizations to have direct contact with the programs and services provided'”this means interacting with staff, clients, and representing the organization in the community. If an executive is stuck behind a desk writing grant proposals all day, every day, or only gets to see people when he or she is asking for money, job satisfaction and the ability to enthusiastically talk about the programs and services will suffer.
Consider how fundraising tasks can be shared among several staff members to allow for executive staff to focus on various tasks. A strong fundraising board can also help to alleviate some of the stress that can be heaped on CEOs and executive directors when funds are in short supply. For a strong organization, there must be energy and resources for planning, program and project implementation and creation, public relations, and other important tasks and strategies'”not just fund development.