Advancement: Staff Changes Follow Up Information

General Secretary

The following updates have been published to share further information about staffing changes:

Following on the recent announcement about upcoming changes to our staffing structure, this post provides further information and clarity with respect to Communications and Development. The changes provide capacity for our ability to share stories and experiences in a timely way within the PYM body and with the public. They also  increase our ability to manage PYM’s fundraising and to support the monthly meetings’ fundraising.

The primary adjustment is in moving the communications staff and the development staff into a single unit.  This is a traditional model in many institutions, and in fact is a model PYM recently used but had to let go of when we cut our staff in half several years ago. Going forward, we will hire an Associate Secretary for Advancement.  That person will supervise the Director of Communications and Technology and the Director of Donor Engagement. The position will lead the Advancement team to ensure that messaging about who and why we are is clearly articulated and widely shared. The position will also support our relationships with major donors, manage planned giving, and collaborate on putting together our print publications. About two thirds of the work of this position will be administrative and fundraising focused, and a third will be communications focused.

The former Director of Development position is transitioning to the Director of Donor Engagement.  This position will maintain the traditional responsibilities for the annual fund.  It will also have more capacity to support peer-to-peer giving and to provide guidance and trainings to monthly meetings in their own development efforts. These are activities that we have aimed to pursue, but we have lacked the time to develop  them.

The Director of Donor Engagement will interact with monthly meetings in two new ways.  First it will implement and support the Bridge Contact aspect of our new governance structure that has not yet been activated. Bridge Contacts are individuals in each meeting or other constituency in the yearly meeting (like Young Friends or the Decarceration Collaborative) who love knowing what is going on everywhere and make connections.  The Director of Donor Engagement will help ensure Bridge Contacts are named and that they have the necessary resources to share with their meetings what is happening in the wider world, and to share with the rest of PYM what is happening in their meetings.  The second new responsibility for the Director of Donor Engagement is for relationship with our meetings around the annual Covenant, ensuring that there is clear communication, data-tracking and gratitude for gifts from meetings. About half of the work of this position will be administrative activity for fundraising and half will be engaging with individual and meetings around communications and fundraising. The Director of Donor Engagement will have a strong relationship with the Community Engagement Team in the Program Department.

Our current Director of Communications will continue with minor adjustments and a new title: Director of Communications and Technology.  The Director will take on management of our technology choices.  As we increase the sophistication of our communications, event management, online giving, and database there is a need to plan for and support those technologies in an integrated way. More of the daily website work will be officially given to the Web Manager, increasing the capacity of the Director of Communications and Technology for this work. A final change is that the Director of Communications will supervise the Database Manager.  Previously this position was under the Director of Development. The database supports not just development, but also communications,event registration, and individual and meeting profiles. This larger portfolio, and the suite of technology that is related to it, is a closer fit to Communications. The Web Manager and the Communications Designer will continue to report to the Director of Communications and Technology.

The Database Manager is another key position within Advancement.  This position was previously titled Database and Gift Entry Coordinator, and was responsible for putting all information in and getting all information out of the database.  A significant portion of the employee’s time was spent on data entry of gifts to the yearly meeting and data updates.  In the upcoming staffing structure, the data entry tasks are removed from the Database Manager’s portfolio and given to a new part-time position which is responsible for all data entry, changes and basic reports.  That position will report to the Database Manager.  With the data-entry aspect removed from the Manager’s portfolio, there is more capacity for her to manage, manipulate, program, and extract information so that we can have better metrics, as well as more targeted communications.  The database will be used to track events and communications, as well as contributions and relationships (such as identifying who is the clerk of the yearly meeting and all the monthly meetings). Eventually it will also be used to hold information about the skills and gifts of members of our community. 

There are many changes in this area, including the addition of 1.5 positions.  The reasoning is that three of the positions in this area currently (Director of Development, Director of Communications, Database and Gift Entry Coordinator) are operating at or beyond their capacity, and yet we are not communicating to the degree we want to, and our income from individual giving has been decreasing.  Those are related problems that can be addressed by deepening the relationship between communications and development, and by giving each of the positions a little more breathing room for creativity and for connection with meetings and members.  Built into each of the positions is the goal of increasing our engagement with Friends and connecting Friends and meetings.

Christie Duncan-Tessmer
PYM General Secretary