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.

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