AFP News

January 2023 Advancing Philanthropy – Building and Expanding a Fundraising Office

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AFP is looking for authors, insight, and guidance as we work on our January issue covering everything you need to build and maintain a successful fundraising shop. Where do you begin, and what do you need to consider? Read over some of the ideas we’re looking at covering for this issue, and see if you’d like to write, contribute or provide information and guidance.

  • How do we communicate the need for additional fundraisers? What’s the best way to scale your fundraising office? How do you go from 1 staff person to 2? Or 2 to 3? Or 3 to 5? What roles should each additional person fill? What do you look for?
  • The One-Person Development Shop—how do you set yourself up for success and prepare for possible growth?
  • Start-ups? How to build a fundraising program and a board from scratch?
  • Expectations and how fundraising departments are valued. How do you communicate to other departments, other staff, the board, etc. One year rule—no matter what people say about the long-term, they always want to know what you did in one year. What are good metrics to use in this case? What do other sectors and/or organizations use as metrics broadly?
  • Office culture/traditions—why we do things the way we do in different organizations? How do we create traditions, or discard “bad” ones, then build on the good “ones.”? How do we build strong and positive office cultures?
  • How do we best retain staff, especially new ones and get them over that “turnover” hump and committed to the long term? How have employee expectations changed over the past few years?
  • Staff shortage – Many organizations are dealing with shortages in the workforce and finding talented and capable staff. Also, with the Great Resignation, are people creating alternate career paths. Side hustles becoming more common. Do people have side jobs?  What sort of new culture are being created with job flexibility, with “retired” fundraisers coming back from partial retirement and working again?

If you’re interested in writing about any of these topics, please email Michael Nilsen, AFP’s vice president for communications, at

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30 Jan 2023 President's Perspective Blog
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