In this episode, Andrew visits with Tom Pagano, Co-Founder and Director of Mission Advantage Recruiting, a search firm dedicated to recruiting great talent for the Church. They discuss what it takes to source and hire good talent, what makes a good development officer, what COVID has done to hiring and moving jobs, and how we as an industry can find good development officers for the future. If you’ve never given much thought to what it takes to hire, or if you are thinking about your next couple of career moves, this is a great episode for you.
Tom Pagano is co-founder and Director of Mission Advantage Recruiting.
Lives in New Jersey with his wife and their 3 children. Studied Business and Theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville. Found the world of development and fundraising as well as a passion for missions.
History as Director of Development for multiple Catholic organizations. During that time, found a gap in being able to find the right talent and people for the positions.
2019 brought the opportunity to work with mentors of his at Mission Advantage Recruitment.
Mission Advantage Recruiting
Mission Advantage Recruiting is a search and recruiting firm that works with nonprofit organizations, primarily faith-based organizations. Partner with np that have hiring needs and vacancies to help them fill those roles. They go in and identify unique needs that will help to find the right people.
Some of the organizations they have or currently are working with are: Archdiocese of New York, Solidarity Health Share, Mary’s Meals USA, and St. Paul’s Center for Biblical Theology.
What makes a good client? Being candid and open, having honest feedback and conversation.
What makes a good Development Officer?
What questions would you ask, what do you look for those three areas?
Hire for passion and train for skill. There is the element of the “IT” factor. Book recommendation: Who by GH Smart
How has 2020/Covid changed your work?
The second quarter was scary but Q3 and Q4 has picked up. Candidates have changed in willingness to relocate as well as asking more question on the organizational policies. Definitely more negotiation, strategic conversation.
As the church is looking to grow, how can we increase awareness and interest for careers in the church?
It needs to be a strategic initiative. How do we approach Catholic college students, within Catholic universities and Newman centers?
So many times, when you think about working for the church, only discernment of ordained positions come to mind. Need to show how much bigger the opportunity is at the church. Even taking a successful campus minister and approaching them with the idea of delving into development as their lifestyle needs change.
Advising Young Professionals
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, uses the hedgehog concept. Involves finding where three circles intersect: what are you passionate about, what can you be the best at, what can drive your economic engine.
Need to begin to drill down or dig roots in one thing that you can be good at. And gain experience in that area.
Increasing Diversity in Development
Having diversity increases productivity and creativity. The Catholic church alone, 43% is Latino, and if we want to speak to, we need people from the culture to engage.
If you would like to reach Tom, you can find him at https://missionadv.org/
Andrew's Key Take-Aways:
First, What makes a good development officer?
Second point: It’s a “buyers market”. Organizations need to be flexible and adaptable if they are going to recruit excellent talent. If you are on the hiring end, start thinking about what you currently offer in terms of flexibility and if you can be open to creative strategies to recruit the best people. JoAnn Shull mentioned how important it was to be able to work from home and even bring her babies to work with her as a mom and her employer being flexible was critical to her success and even willingness to stick with the job.
And last, Universities and missionary organizations can be partners in recruiting young professionals and building awareness of the benefits of working in the development world. Introducing young and even future professionals the careers in development is something that is very important to me and we have to continue to work with groups, institutions and leaders to promote the idea of being a fundraiser for the Church.
Dive in and think about the best fundraisers that you know and get specific about what it is that makes them so great. If you are a development officer, consider how you can model your life to include some of those characteristics in your own life. If you are an employer, think about how you can recruit folks like them to your team and begin cultivating people early that could be part of your team down the road.
Again, just a reminder about our women in philanthropy podcast takeover happening over the next 3 episodes. Be sure to tune in for those episodes and share them with others that might be interested. Have a great day and keep doing great things for your ministry and for the Kingdom. God bless.
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