Chaos in fund development

April 21, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

The fund development manager for a specific company has moved on, leaving an email list of contacts. Reviewing that list raises questions about the list:

  • Who was this person?
  • How did the job affect what the fund development manager was doing?
  • Was this person still employed by the company?
  • Who was going to check this list and make sure no one of value to the nonprofit was lost?

Printing the list for the new staffer raised these questions:

  • Was this contact important to the organization?
  • Was the previous fund development manager in contact with them, and if so, why?
  • Should we contact this person?

A few more questions:

  • Who is going to pay for the time it will take to evaluate and rebuild a more current list of contacts?
  • Will this situation play itself out again when the next fund development person moves on?
  • What’s troubling about those questions, writes Sharron Batsch in her book “From Chaos to Control,” is that they, and the scenario they spring from, are not at all unusual. Instead, they are common, costly and chaotic. What Batsch recommended is a common source that not only answers the questions, well ahead of the departure of an important employee, but also keeps information updated and comprehensive.

Waiting until the person responsible leaves is waiting too long.

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