According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the average tenure of nonprofit Chief Development Officers (CDOs) has shortened to two to three years over the past decade.
While the opinions regarding the causes of the shorter tenure vary, many nonprofit experts agree that this trend has troubling consequences. Shorter tenure in leading development roles not only leads to difficulty maintaining donor relationships, but also hinders the development and execution of long-term fundraising strategies.
Campbell & Company, a national nonprofit consulting and executive search firm, recently completed a nationwide survey to understand the reasons behind this trend. CDO Confidential received responses from more than 400 Chief Development Officers and Chief Executive Officers to gain multiple perspectives. The sample included organizations with a wide range of missions, budgets, staff sizes and geographic areas.
In follow-up webinars, breakfasts, and roundtable discussions, the Campbell & Company Executive Search team, along with 6 contributing past or present nonprofit CDOs, delved deeper into this phenomenon to better understand the factors that ultimately shape CDO job satisfaction, which in turn promotes more successful collaborations—and longer tenures.
Based on these conversations—and in the interest of optimizing CDO tenures—Campbell & Company has compiled a series of helpful strategies and tactics, sound bites from our discussions, quotes from our report and follow-up inserts with additional information to help guide both prospective and newly hired CDOs and the organizations seeking to hire and retain them.
Other resources to visit:
UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising by CompassPoint