February 19, 2011

Are you looking for proven performance or promise? There’s a difference. And you have to decide which what matters in which qualification. Proven performance means the candidate actually did the stuff effectively – and produced results. The candidate can prove this to me through conversation. References can validate this reality.

Promise means the candidate’s proven performance seems transferrable to other skills and experience I want. Promise means the candidate will commit the time and resources to learn what still needs to be learned. (And the hiring organization will invest professional development in the candidate.)

Here’s what I want if I’m hiring a development officer:

— Proven performance in key areas of fundraising. I use the CFRE International test content outline to make sure that the candidate has enough proven performance in multiple areas to move forward. For example, if the individual documents performance in developing and running special events, working with volunteers, and taking the initiative…I’m probably willing to hire for promise in face-to-face solicitation.

Where do you want proven performance? When will you hire for promise? And remember, this applies to staff and volunteer hiring.

Filed under: Nonprofit Management

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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