Barbara Bedoni Secret

From Barbara Bedoni on Flickr

So, I’m going to speak it out loud, this is the dirty little secret of our profession, as development staff, as fundraisers.

Some of us, not all of us, but some of us are Type As. We like to be in control of every little thing. We like to be in charge of grantwriting, events, appeals, graphic design, newsletters, everything. We do. We take pride in the accomplishments that we achieved alone.

But sometimes, I mean, this responsibility gets too much. You CAN control everything, but then, also, you’ve got some serious burnout to contend with.

So, you know you need to learn how to delegate. Don’t lie. Come on. Delegation will keep you sane. Delegation will make people less dependent on you. And you WANT that. Because if you can have time to do other things, you will be able to do a better job.


Answer the What, Who, When and How, and you will be halfway to having the help you need.

First, WHAT can you delegate?

Let’s see. Everyone knows that you can have volunteer ushers and event staff. You can even get people from your local starbucks to volunteer at your event and have that be another way you can make money. What else? Grant research. Grantwriting. Interviewing program staff for grants. Volunteers can help you stuff envelopes, if you haven’t farmed that out yet. Writing e-newsletters. Designing your newsletter. Redesigning your website. Calling in a phone-a-thon. Gardening at your facility. Getting inkind donations for your office by calling around to local businesses.

Second, WHO can you delegate to?
Where do you find volunteers? Here’s a post I wrote about that.
It goes into the MANY places you can find volunteers.

If you want to create a compelling description that will have interns BEATING DOWN YOUR DOOR, you can use this one that I have used, with great effectiveness.

Third, WHEN can you get help?
Create a schedule for people who will be helping you.

Fourth, HOW will people be helping you?
So you’ve got to match people to tasks. But it’s not as simple as that. You need to match the right person to the right task. If I were you, I would buy this checklist that you can give volunteers to help them feel valued for their unique strengths and talents, which will keep them coming back, again and again!

Make the most of your volunteers. Give them this checklist, and help them use their strengths! From The Wil…

Fifth, and finally, assign the tasks and CHECK IN with people and see how they’re doing.