Importance of Staffing & Infrastructure among Donor Relations Teams

Small staff size can be a blessing. If you work in a small group, decisions get made faster, creativity faces fewer challenges, innovation is a necessity and you likely have a more direct line to top leadership. As the team grows, specialization brings to light differing points-of-view and slower decision making. The ship gets harder to steer, and eventually someone is tasked with managing people, not projects. Keeping the team lean and creative can be the fastest route to a successful program.

On the other hand, insufficient infrastructure is at the heart of most program failures. Borrowing words from my friend and donor relations professional, Julia Emlen, a solid, well-functioning infrastructure leads to success by building trust. Success is achieved by demonstrating a reliable, well-functioning database, a concise communications plan, and the training for staff to put your systems to good use. There is no number of people that can compensate for obsolete, incomplete or ill-used donor data.