In an earlier post, I surveyed some of the history of the development of Jewish communal service as a profession and of the institutions of learning developed in the service of that profession.
That was then, this is now. In her recent piece in Contact Magazine, The Elusive Fundraiser: A Complex Situation with Simple Solutions," Amy Sales discusses the causes of the shortage - increased demand for fundraisers; high turnover due to low job satisfaction, high burnout, and professional poaching; and a lack of organizational understanding of how to work with a development professional - and offers simple - and familiar sounding - solutions.
"Increase the talent pool... Support for continuing education and professional development"
2010, Sales: Increase the talent pool. With support, Jewish communal service and professional leadership programs could train more students for careers in development. Funded scholarships for advanced degrees with a specialization in development would attract and prepare more professional fundraisers in the Jewish community. Their degrees would put graduates on a level with other executives and accord them the respect and power they merit and need in order to do their jobs. Funded internships would give Jewish young adults an opportunity to try out a career in development, gain experience and skills, and build their resumes...
1958, Arnulf Pins, The Jewish Social Work Student: Some Research Data About Him and Their Implications for the Shortage of Jewish Community Center Workers: Do whatever possible to increase the quality of our service and the competence and compensation of our present professional staff. This will help attract and keep professional staff. 2. Provide meaningful and well-supervised work experience for our summer and parttime staff. This will do more than anything else to recruit people for our field.
"Build support" - helping organizations develop a "culture of fundraising"
2010, Sales: ..the network of colleagues is perhaps the greatest benefit of the program. Indeed, development directors have little contact with others in their profession and few trusted people to turn to for support and advice when the going gets tough (as it frequently does). In this vein, much could be done to create communities of inquiry, a professional association or regular gatherings of development professionals in the Jewish community 1975, David Dubin, The Social Work Function in the Jewish Community Center: 6) The JCC should clearly define its social work function, identify its social work staff clearly, and project this in formation to the center's constituency. 8) Social work principles are reflected in the administrative relationships and procedures which govern the delivery of social work services. 10) Membership and participation in appropriate professional associations should be encouraged. 13) The Center should encourage social work staff to develop and maintain communication with other social workers in the community.
"Change the mindset"
2010, Sales: ...executive directors and boards of trustees of Jewish organizations need to understand that fundraising is everyone's job, not just that of the development director...Changing the mindset also entails the study of Jewish teachings that underlie the work of the fundraiser. Study reminds the development professional and top leadership of the importance of this work and its profound purpose and meaning.
1975, David Dubin, The Social Work Function in the Jewish Community Center: 1) JCC's should require that all social workers, includign the agency executive director and assistant executive director carry ongoing direct practice responsibilities with members (Boards, committees and supervision are not direct practice!)... 8) Social work principles are reflected in the administrative relationships and procedures which govern the delivery of social work services.
1981, Bernard Reisman, The Jewish Component in the Training Programs of Jewish Communal Workers: Values are important in all professions both to provide guidelines for the work of the practitioner and to engender confidence by the recipients of the service in the judgment of the professional. A value orientation is particularly vital in Jewish communal work.
So - did whatever we did before work? Is it time to do it again? For fundraisers?