6 points for evaluating a grants professional

Fundraisers at many organizations find themselves at one time or another applying for grants to support their mission. Sometimes this task will be contracted out to an individual outside the organization, but many nonprofits have such a person on staff.

Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif., believes that the standard way of evaluating a grant professional — by looking at the total dollar amount of successful proposals — is not a good idea. It is unrealistic in any setting and likely to lead to high employee turnover in the case of a permanent staff position. Rather, Floersch suggests the following when evaluating a grants development professional:

  • Completion of assigned duties. To what degree does the individual demonstrate understanding of job responsibilities, attention to responsibilities and compliance with job demands?
  • Skill level. What skill level does the employee demonstrate when meeting job requirements?
  • Initiative. This might be demonstrated by attention to detail, willingness to put in extra hours when necessary, creative ideas and approaches that lead to higher quality.
  • Productivity. The number of proposals generated is not by itself a meaningful measure. Research can limit the time available to write a proposal.
  • Professionalism. Does the employee meet deadlines, take responsibility when mistakes are made, behave respectfully in stressful situations, work as part of a team?
  • Attitude. Does the employee accept constructive criticism gracefully, have a sense of humor, treat other employees respectfully?