Most fundraising leaders got where they are because they’ve excelled at the craft of fundraising — NOT because they love managing  interdependent teams in complex environments.

It’s no surprise then that fundraising leaders often divorce themselves from their roles as managers.  They don’t suck at management. They just aren’t doing it because it’s not a skill they’ve honed.

Sound like you? Like Cher said in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!” 

Pardon my bluntness, but your team needs you now more than ever before. They are navigating the professional and personal repercussions of COVID, the ugly face of white supremacy and racism embedded in our society, and the countless other challenges 2020 is hoisting upon all of us. Stop ignoring your role as a manager and start doing it.  

Where can you start?

(1) Get management training or refresh the training you’ve already received. There are many organizations that specialize in management training for non profit leaders including the Management Center and the Center for Nonprofit Management.

(2) Read practical and useful insights from well-known managers inside and outside the non profit space. To get you started, David C. Baker, an expert who helps firms like mine make better business decisions, wrote a field guide called Managing (Right) for the First Time. It’s intended for BOTH first-time managers and managers who just want to get better. It’s one of the best management pieces I’ve ever read.

(3) Make time for management. If you manage people and 60-85% of your day is focused on craft or spent in non-management meetings, you aren’t managing people.

(4) Be ok with messy. Managing people and teams will be awkward and difficult. That’s ok. That’s part of the territory.

If you clicked on this post, it means you’re kind of interested in becoming a better manager. So write down one thing right now that will help keep this conversation alive for you.

Our world needs you to lead.