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Can You Be A Stay-At-Home Fundraiser?

Fundraising job would seem to be the type of position that would lend itself to telecommuting. You're going to be spending a lot of time on the phone or making visits with donors, so being in the office all of the time isn't always imperative.

This doesn't mean that all fundraisers are of the stay-at-home variety. As Jill Dotts of the American Heart Association pointed out at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) 49th International Conference on Fundraising, there are only certain positions in development that lend themselves to telecommuting. These jobs include:

  • development director
  • development officer
  • donor relations manager
  • special events manager
  • grant writer
  • database manager
  • prospect researcher
Employers would do well to consider offering the option of telecommuting to any of the above positions, as this expands the reach of your job to candidates who live outside the state. If you do consider allowing telecommuting, Dotts said to address the following considerations:
  • The real estate premium. Do you really need all that office space? Think of program space vs. administration.
  • The recruiting/retention of staff who want flexibility.
  • An organizational culture that includes trust and accountability.
  • Consistent guidelines for the entire organization.
  • Top-notch communication, and not just in day-to-day interaction.
  • Awareness that telecommuting does not work well with micro- or insecure managers.
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