On Sundays I enjoy reading the New York Times and never miss Corner Office. His advice on qualities in people Conductor prefers to hire is spot on for fundraisers and qualities we should possess.

1. A sense of self-awareness. People “who are very in touch with what they are doing right and what they could be doing better.” As a practice, you should always be striving to better you engagement strategies and to reach more diverse audiences. Twitter can help you find lots of smarties and communities of fundraisers who are endeavoring to work better.

2. “You need to be committed to your own self improvement.” Do you have a mentor? Blogs you are following? Have you picked up the phone and spoken with a respected colleague? Or sent an email? Most in our profession are willing to help.

3. Passion. “We want people who are very passionate and put their soul into something, and they don’t stop until they get where they want to go.” Perfectly stated.

4. Good communicators. “We look for people who say what is on their mind.” When working with donors we want to be clear communicators of our mission and impact. We want to speak in a language that is accessible to them (no jargon!). And when speaking with colleagues and other internal audiences, we need to be honest. Including board members. Are we having a challenge? Are we spinning our wheels? Is there mission drift? We need honesty. And when good things happen, successes, gifts closed, donors and prospects more fully engaged in our work, let us say, “Thanks,” and “Great job.” We need that communication too.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Share!

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