Hiring the Right Planned Giving Officer | Sharpe Group
Posted November 7th, 2022

Hiring the Right Planned Giving Officer

Is it possible to hire the perfect planned giving officer? Perhaps your organization is considering a full-time hire, or you need to supplement your staff to build your long-term planned giving strategy. Finding the right person can seem tricky, so we’ve developed a few strategies.

Studies show that attention to a candidate’s core values provides a greater return on longevity—and longevity is one of the key components to success in planned giving stewardship. Hiring the right person is paramount, so it is important to make sure your hiring process identifies and screens candidates not just for their skill sets but also for whether they share your culture and core values.

Here are five questions to ask your potential planned giving officer:

  1. What is your favorite movie, tv show, band or hobby? This question breaks the ice and can provide common ground and insight about your candidate.
  2. What is your vision for planned giving? This is an open-ended question that allows the candidate to share their knowledge on generational giving as well as express their opinion on the right strategy for a planned giving department.
  3. How have you integrated planned giving stewardship with other philanthropy? Most giving strategies take a wholistic approach to their donors for the donor’s lifetime. A candidate’s view on integration will give you a better picture of whether the candidate thinks long term and as a team player.
  4. Can you share some planned giving success stories? Philanthropy is about relationships, and relationships are about storytelling. Multiple checkpoints can be covered with this question, helping you determine if the candidate is a right fit.
  5. What are your core values in the workplace? I actually ask this question first so the candidate has time to think as our other discussions are going on. Core values are paramount to success if you want a planned giving officer to be in sync with your organization’s goals.

Sharpe Group has developed a “Hiring Platform.” This is a simple, cost-effective method of receiving applications and identifying and scoring qualified candidates based upon relevant questions. How does it work?

  • We compile the job description for the open position.
  • We offer a suggested listing of questions that help identify the type of individual needed for the job position.
  • The system posts the job opportunity on all available and relevant job boards (such as the local fundraising nonprofit website for professionals).
  • The database keeps record of those applying, and the system can be filtered and sorted using numerous variables, including scores based upon the custom questions.
  • Top candidates are interviewed and can be offered additional workforce assessment tests to determine the best fit for long-term success.

Lastly, we’ve seen real success in partnering with organizations to fill gaps in their strategic planned giving vision. Whether it is by providing technical expertise, communication, video storytelling, donor data analytics or using artificial intelligence on donor data, our team wants to help you succeed. ■

By Bob Mims, Sharpe Group CFO

The publisher of Sharpe Insights is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice and assistance in specific cases, the services of your own counsel should be obtained. Articles in Sharpe Insights may generally be reprinted for distribution to board members and staff of nonprofit institutions and other non-donor groups. Proper credit must be given. Call for details.

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