Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On boarding new fundraising professionals

As many of you know, I recently started a new position. One of the things that fascinates me every time I start a new job is the on boarding process that the employer offers. By far and away the best employer I ever had at this was Walt Disney World. Ever since then, every university I've worked for hasn't done so great. I'm currently working with a client to help them develop their training programs for support staff and development officers. It's been fascinating. What is your on boarding process? Do you feel like you were trained properly when you arrived at your job? Tell me your story in the comments below.
Here are some of my observations:
1. I don't need database training in my first week. I need someone to show me where the bathroom is and how to work my phone. Seriously.
2. In my first week I want to be introduced to those that can best help me be successful. Give me time with them so I can learn what they do.
3. In my first week give me a real life view of organizational culture, explain to me the meetings that I might not know about.
3. In my first week give me an entire half day to figure out my office setup and get organized.
4. Pair me with someone who can help me navigate the channels of bureaucracy and be there to answer questions when I have them, no matter how large or small.
5. Have someone take me to lunch and explain the unwritten rules, pet peeves, and quirks of my new leadership so I don't "step in it" in my first month.
6. After I've settled in, then set me up with formal training and give me a chance to have input in the order and intensity of those trainings. I may not need excel 101 or to spend 3 hours learning how to use outlook.
7. If you work in an area of particular interest, especially like donor or alumni relations, become a part of orientation and meet with every new employee as a matter of course. Be a resource for them. Help them out when they wander the halls or need a good pen.
8. For all that is holy, if I've relocated to a new place, offer to help me locate simple services that make my life easier. Sometimes it's so awkward to ask. I've been so fortunate in my relocations to NYC and Charlotte that people helped me in innumerable ways and I've taken them up on their offers and it was amazingly helpful.
9. Invite me to more meetings than you think are necessary on order to find the landscape. Then after I attend a few, let me choose from there.
10. Finally, have a plan in place when someone arrives. Without a plan to follow through on all the details, I have a chance of seeming disoriented and lost.

I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks so much


  1. Love this...great points. One other thing that I believe is HUGE---if you work for a fundraising arm of the org like donor relations, alumni relations, etc., part of on boarding needs to be that someone needs to ask you for support from the get-go. Lay the expectations down early so it's not a surprise later. If employees are taught from the beginning the culture of philanthropy in an organization and understands that every employee is asked to contribute to the campaign--what ever it may be-- it is the norm from the moment that employee walks in the door.

  2. We'd all be so much better off it your list was followed! I also think it's important to be exposed to the work of your organization - so if you provide children's art classes, spend some time in a class or two, talk to teachers, meet students; if you work in a medical research facility, tour the labs and meet some doctors; if you work at a food bank, spend some time in the warehouse and making deliveries. That makes our work real and meaningful.

  3. Agreed! if you work on a university campus, you should receive the admissions tour!

  4. THIS IS BRILLIANT. I AM PRINTING THIS OUT AND BRINGING IT TO HR (sorry for the caps--I'm just that excited!).

  5. Number 5 is critical! Number 8 - I could have really done with when I moved from Melb to Brisbane to work at UQ. The basics like a hairdresser for example! When a new colleague starts now who is new to town, I send an email with my picks of things to do in Brisbane. Cheers Lucy

  6. I wish I had read that a year ago! Extremely practical advice and something I will take with me as I dive back into the job hunting.

  7. Thanks Ladies! It's the simple things that mean the most I find.

  8. These 10 valuable tips are really good for functional Onboarding.Onboarding is most important process in the company.

  9. The entire Efficient Hire solution is accessible from any Internet location, meaning HR representatives can collect information from employees across the country.employee onboarding

  10. Fabulous! Thanks so much for this informative post. It is very timely as I am looking for a new situation.