12 June 2001 at 1:06 pm
What’s in a name….? Well, Chief Executive Officers can vary greatly from organisation to organisation in the Not for Profit sector and just what training do they or should they have?
A long time campaigner for better CEO’s is Howard Sharp who himself has the title of Chief Executive (he doesn’t like the word Officer ) with more than 15 years experience.
Howard Sharp is with the North Shore Heart Research Foundation in Sydney and is a long standing Rotarian who says he’s bemoaned the quality of CEOs for many years.
Sharp says the state of CEOs does not present a very pretty picture around the nation and the problem is that many do not have any training in fundraising and do not appreciate the work of the person who brings in all the money.
Sharp says of course most CEOs have admirable backgrounds in commerce and marketing but few have been trained in the basics of fundraising.
He says successful organisations have good CEOs because they understand and appreciate the worth of a good fundraiser and keep the lines of communication open at all times.
There are seminars and conferences for CEOs but as Howard Sharp sees it most CEOs don’t see the value in the training.
The result he claims is that CEOs stay on in the job and disenchanted, hard working fundraisers move on.
In Sharp speak the mix is ‘all wrong’ in Not for Profits these days. He says many people see him as a broken record repeating and repeating his lament.
He says charities in this day and age have to run like businesses that invest in a CEO who appreciates the work of the Fundraiser or is trained in the worth of the fundraiser.
Leo Orland formerly of World Vision and now with Robe John and Associates backs up the argument. At a recent Fundraising Institute Conference he delivered a paper about the myths and realities of fundraising.
A survey he carried out showed that 66% of fundraiser were not satisfied with the support they got from their organisation citing reasons such as lack of understanding and lack of support ‘from the top’.
Orland’s survey found that those who gave a positive response said they had good access to their CEO and the CEO is very supportive.
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