Temperament: The Key To A Development Professional’s Success

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    This posting by: Tony Poderis

    When hiring a professional development officer, the emphasis should be placed on the personality characteristics which are important for the appointed person to be able to effectively carry out the position requirements.

    Specifically, you hire someone who can accurately and effectively communicate the mission of the organization, and who understands the importance of close interaction and teamwork among the development office, public relations and marketing, other professional staff and management.

    This person will also represent the organization externally in ways which foster the best possible relations with volunteers, actual and potential donors, and sponsors and granting agencies.

    In succinct terms the requirements are:
    — Knowledge of basic skills of fund-raising management
    — Superior organizational and communication skills
    — Donor and volunteer service mentality
    — Analytical capabilities
    — Conceptual skills

    Position Temperament
    Considerable attention should be centered upon the personality aspect of the individual involved, since, most often, the right temperament will dictate whether or not he or she will be successful. The development officer must be willing and capable of maintaining a low profile, allowing the volunteers and donors to receive the proper credit.

    The development professional must be flexible, persistent and very attentive to detail. He or she is an organizer and director, as the principal charge is to develop numerous efficient and compelling opportunities for donors to give their support, and at the same time making those experiences satisfying and rewarding for them.

    From a newspaper essay written by syndicated columnist Sidney Harris titled “Temperament for High Office May Succeed More Than Talent”:

    “Most of us prefer to ignore our temperamental incapacities for certain jobs and functions. We imagine that because we have the skills and the knowledge and the expertise, we are thereby fitted for the task.

    “Yet it has been my observation over the years that temperament is the most important ingredient in many crucial posts – and one that is too often ignored, both by those who proffer the jobs and those who accept those jobs.

    “It has also been my observation that more people succeed by temperament than by talent, especially in those jobs where relating to people is the prime ingredient. A person cannot be dumb, but need not be especially smart if he or she has a native shrewdness and tact in handling people; whereas a far smarter person may come to catastrophe by overvaluing brains at the expense of other personality factors.”
    If you have a question or comment for Tony, he can be reached at Tony@raise-funds.com. There is also a lot of good fundraising information on his website: Raise-Funds.com
    Have you seen The Fundraising Series of ebooks ??
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