Welcome to CDO World™. Your place for topics relating to the role of the Chief Development Officer.

​Pursuing Authentic Leadership

Sometimes experienced fundraisers are promoted to leadership positions without management training. On the flip side, board members who have excellent management skills but no fundraising experience are recruited. This approach can lead to a short-term — and shortsighted — focus.

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​Spam and the Nonprofit

Each year EveryAction, an email marketing group, does an analysis of the ways that email deliverability can impact fundraising success. According to 2016 benchmark online giving data, every 1% of email marked as spam resulted in a revenue hit of more than 1%. This figure is one that nonprofits need to note.

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Making Fundraising More Efficient

Ten years ago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute launched the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. This project surveys nonprofits each year to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the development work they do. The 2015-2016 study included data from 10,829 nonprofit organizations.

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​Smarter Recruiting Strategies

​Smarter Recruiting Strategies

There are so many competing factors in any recruitment effort — work piling up, time pressure, and financial realities. Yet the cost to an organization of a bad hiring choice can be dramatic. It goes far beyond the money and time wasted in making a mistake. The negative impact on the entire organization can be long lasting.

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​Finding a Way Back from Burnout

​Finding a Way Back from Burnout

It is a problem experienced at organizations in all sectors. Staff members that were once top-performing, hardworking, and dedicated, suddenly seem to have lost interest in their jobs. They have become irritable with their teams, less productive, and do not seem as invested in the work. What changed? In some cases, it is simply a case of burnout.

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Embracing the Unexpected

There is a reason that many fundraising programs stick with the tried and true. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for taking some risks.

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​Innovation for a Stronger Organization

Innovation can be an unsettling word for some nonprofits. By its very nature, innovation is uncertain and it carries the risk of failure. Those concerns can prevent organizations from seeing its importance.

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​Tiny Steps, Greater Retention

Organizations spend dozens of hours seeking out the right candidates for open positions — crafting the perfect job postings, interviewing and vetting candidates, and ensuring that prospects are the right fit. But when an employee’s tenure is short, the organization is forced to start the process all over again. There are costs in terms of money, time and morale.

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