Create a Brand, Attract Talent

By Phil Gerard

Someone called me the other day in response to a career opportunity. The question was: “Is this really the salary? How come they keep attracting such good people?”

Yes, this particular organization is not as competitive in salary in comparison to its peers. But guess what – they  do attract good people. And here is why.

It is not only about money, we all know that. Some organizations are extremely good at attracting talent because they have created a brand, as an employer, that people want to be part of. As an organization you want to get to the point where talented people say, “I want to join this team!”

Leadership and Team

Who is on your team is important. Many shops have great leaders who great people want to work for. But it goes further than leadership – it is the entire team. Stars follow stars they say. When fundraisers who are well known and respected in the community join an organization they often make others follow them.

The Cause

Having a strong cause and a well defined case can help attract talent.  You may have heard the phrase ‘chasing the next campaign.’ Many good fundraisers get excited about a campaign or a special project the organization is embarking on. They want to be part during this exciting time for the organization.

Total Compensation

Money is not all an organization has to offer. Benefits can be quite attractive, from extended health plans to pension plans to car allowances to tuition waivers to extra-long vacations to free lunches to an on-site (free) day care.

When I first started in talent management we already talked a lot about flexibility, what it looks like and that an individualized approach is needed. What works for me as a parent might not work for a single person. I have seen many of my clients introduce flex-days, tele-commuting, or modified work weeks.


Smart organizations are invested in the success of their people and support their career advancement. Some organizations are structured better for career advancement than others. Some people are attracted to the structure and resources of a big shop while others prefer a nimbler structure where the roles might be more generalist in nature and offer the opportunity to gain experience in different areas.


I am often asked what the culture of a particular organization is like. It is clearly important to people. What organizations want to strive for is that employees tell others how great it is to work there, how much they enjoy the work and their co-workers.

Create a Brand as an Employer

Organizations talk about branding all the time. We want people to perceive our organization or our product in a certain way. The same concept applies for attracting talent. Organizations want to create a brand as an employer that star fundraisers want to join.

Today’s Career Opportunities

Coordinator, Community Giving, Canadian Cancer Society
Engagement Officer, Alumni and Students, Trinity Western University
Stewardship Director British Columbia, Trinity Western University
Development Associate, Donations Processing, Covenant House
United Way Campaign Associate, UBC
Development Officer, Annual Giving, UBC

Grant Writer, Mindfuel
Manager, Annual Giving, The Mustard Seed

Manager, Planned Giving & Donor Relations, Canadian Red Cross
Associate, Planned Giving & Donor Relations, Canadian Red Cross
National Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving, World Wildlife Fund
Associate, Advancement Operations, TIFF
Senior Philanthropy Officer, United Way
Senior Volunteer Engagement, MS Society
Director of Development, The Lung Association
Proposal Writer, MacKenzie Health
Associate Director, Major Gifts Campaigns, CNIB
Stewardship Coordinator, TVO

Today’s PD Opportunities




Associate Director, Advancement, Simon Fraser University


Download the full posting here: 
Position Prospectus – Associate Director, Advancement, SFU

The incumbent is responsible for managing relationships with donor prospects determined to have the ability to make special gifts at the $20K to $100K level and annual gifts at the $1K to $20K level by developing and implementing strategies for securing financial support from a portfolio of donor prospects including identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding these gifts from alumni, parents, and friends. The incumbent provides support to and works in partnership with a Faculty team comprised of professional advancement, communication, and research grant staff or as a member of the central Advancement team to develop and implement strategies that facilitate and generate maximum support for the Faculty and/or University.


  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and two years of related fundraising experience or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication (oral and written), and relationship management skills.
  • Proficient in the use of word, database, spreadsheet, and presentation applications and prospect management systems.
  • Excellent research, solicitation, and cultivation skills.
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, and analytical reasoning skills.
  • Excellent teamwork skills.
  • Good strategic planning skills.


For more information, to receive the full position prospectus, or to apply in confidence please contact:

Gerard Consulting Logo Web

Gérard Consulting – Fundraising Talent Management
Phil Gérard, President

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those candidates invited for an interview will be contacted.

Today’s Career Opportunities

Manager of Philanthropy, BC SPCA
Coordinator, Leadership Philanthropy, Canadian Cancer Society
Manager, Office Administration, Canadian Cancer Society
Donor Relations Coordinator, Focus on the Family

Development Database Administrator, Telus World of Science
Coordinator, Annual Giving, Mount Royal University
Manager, Alumni Relations, SAIT
Advisor, Principal Gifts, University of Calgary
Development Advisor, University of Calgary

Director of Development, Geneva Centre for Autism
Director, Advancement, The University of Toronto
Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts, World Wildlife Fund
Senior Development Officer, Runnymede Healthcare Centre
Coordinator, Annual Programs and Patron Engagement, Canadian Opera Company
Prospect Researcher, Plan International
Manager, Community Events, Sick Kids
Development Coordinator, Individual Giving, Canadian Hearing Society
Manager, Sponsorship and Cause Marketing, Sick Kids
Corporate and Community Partnership Assistant – Summer Student,  Canadian Cancer Society
Fundraising and Development Assistant, JDRF
Development Coordinator, McMichael Art Collection
Intern, Government and Foundation Relations, TIFF

Today’s PD Opportunities




The Importance of Giving Before Asking

Morantz, Erin

By Erin Morantz

Giving before asking is one of the key tenants of fundraising, but we as fundraisers often only think about it in monetary terms. All good fundraisers know the importance of making their own gift before asking others to do the same, but why do we stop there? Why don’t we give before asking in all aspects of our work?

During my first week at SFU I met a colleague who oversees the co-op program within the faculty. The first words she said to me were “If you’re just here to get my list you can forget it, I don’t share my connections with fundraisers. That’s all you ever want.” Funny thing was I had brought a list of contacts with me that I wanted to share with her. Once she understood that I was coming to give something to her not ask for something, the whole thing turned around. We now work collaboratively and meet with companies that can benefit the faculty from a monetary and non-monetary perspective. In fact, partnering with her helps me give our prospective donors something they need before I ask them for money. By offering companies our talented students as temporary staff (through co-op work terms), I am able to give something meaningful before I ask for a gift.

Finding out what a prospect or donor wants out of the relationship with the organization and giving it to them is the best way to bring them closer to you, build trust and create a long term relationship. But don’t expect a cultivation process where you give before asking to get you to a gift quickly. It can take months or even longer to find out what it is that your prospect wants or needs from your organization. Take the time to get to know what makes your prospects tick, what motivates them, and what you can do to help them.

With corporate prospects, take the time to learn about key issues in their industry, ask lots of questions about these issues and what is being done to solve them. Listen carefully to the responses, then strategize about the ways you can help.

And remember, be flexible. Too often when we meet with a prospect we already have them pegged for a gift to a specific project. By listening to what the prospect is looking for we are able to find a more meaningful way to collaborate and we develop much stronger and longer term partnerships.

Erin Morantz is a seasoned fundraising vet with more than 15 years experience in the non-profit sector in Vancouver. Last spring, she joined SFU, taking on the role of Director of Advancement in the Faculty of Applied Sciences.  Prior to SFU Erin was a Senior Consultant with KCI Ketchum Canada where she lead a number of successful capital campaigns. In her spare time, Erin likes to hike and bike on the North Shore with her family.

A blog about fundraising careers and fundraising issues. By Gérard Consulting – Fundraising Talent Management


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 901 other followers