[Innovation Series: Revisited] Talent Acquisition and Retention

Only a few months ago, Patton McDowell & Associates presented findings from our Innovation Report on talent acquisition and retention. With the approach of summer, this information has become even more relevant as many nonprofit professionals are making transitions in markets across the world. Why does good talent leave an organization? In this introductory blog post, PMA discusses the changing expectations of nonprofit professionals in this space.

talentgapAccording to Penelope Burke, president of Cygnus Applied Research, the average time spent by fundraisers in positions with nonprofits is just 16 months.  Factor in four months of training on the front end and three months of disengagement toward the end of the tenure as the individual job hunts, that leaves just nine months of high-level productivity on average.  It is a wonder that nonprofits are able to maintain donor relationships at all given its broken system of employee retention. Keep The Talent You Have highlights findings from nearly 100 Development Directors, Executive Directors and Board Chairs and provides ways to keep key talent.

While every organization needs to invest in its talent, every nonprofit professional needs to lead the way in creating personal opportunities for growth. Firm President Patton McDowell shared his insights back in April 2013 around professional development for nonprofit professionals. In President’s Corner: Creating Your Personal Board, Patton gives his personal insights on enhancing professional development with a personal board of directors.

What happens when key talent leaves and you are left holding the bag? PMA has provided several blog posts to help you in this process:

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Categories: Innovation, Nonprofit, Talent Acquisition & Retention


Patton McDowell & Associates is a consulting firm dedicated to helping nonprofits and charitable foundations achieve their goals. We maximize an organization’s resources and help it achieve strategic efficiency.


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  1. 3 Focus Areas for Nonprofit Innovation {Video} | Patton McDowell & Associates Blog - September 6, 2013

    […] the three areas of focus in this study – Creative Collaboration, Diversified Fundraising, and Talent Acquisition & Retention. With each focus, these presenters provide statistical analysis, a case study and relevant tips for […]

  2. Why I Love and Hate the Word “Innovation” | Patton McDowell & Associates Blog - August 23, 2013

    […] nonprofits in this region, discovering key trends and findings pertaining to nonprofit governance, staffing, financial management and fundraising […]

  3. Charlotte Nonprofit Buzz: The Fundraising Exodus | Patton McDowell & Associates Blog - July 29, 2013

    […] more information on this topic, revisit our Innovation Series recap of talent acquisition and retention articles. You can also follow us on Twitter for links to other […]

  4. [Innovation Series: Revisited] Collaboration | Patton McDowell & Associates Blog - June 26, 2013

    […] Innovation Series on the PMA blog. The firm has shared information on fundraising, governance, talent acquisition & retention and collaboration. This research has fueled our own firm’s progress in elevating nonprofits […]

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