Capitalize On Remote Development Staff

You have a development position opening at your organization, a small community foundation in a rural part of the country. You have two options: You could depend on the hour-or-so radius around your organization headquarters from which in-person candidates might commute or you could go national with a remote employee.

    Amy Wolfe, president and CEO of AgSafe, and Natalie Gupton, director of development for AgSafe, discussed the latter option during their session “Finding Your Perfect Remote Employee” at the recent Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Fundraising Conference in New Orleans, La. Key areas to think about, according to Wolfe and Gupton, include:

  • Assess your staff needs. What essential qualities in terms of knowledge and skills are you looking for with a new development employee? Consider, also, experience, behavior, culture, and work habits that would equate to a strong fit;
  • Describe the position appropriately. Be clear as to your priorities and necessary skills and knowledge. Avoid jargon. Be clear with what you want;
  • Be prepared to screen and interview. Consider the types of questions that would be most useful in finding your ideal candidate. Test effectiveness. Make the process a team effort, not a burden on just one leader;
  • Develop a culture for success. Evaluate, communicate, and celebrate successes of your remote employees. Avoid the trap of micromanagement; and,
  • Address challenges as they come. This might include differing time zones, communication lapses, difficulties with comradery, and trust.