Sales is the forging of a human connection - you need a talented team that is truly COMMITTED TO SALES.


The Talent Spectrum

Almost everyone who is looking for a senior development person or MGO (Major Gift Officer) is thinking:

“It takes a lot of money to get an ‘experienced’ Major Gift Officer …”

“I can’t pay the $80,000/$100,000 (or more) that we understand it takes to get this person.”

Bottom line: You are NOT constrained by ‘SALARY’ in your search for TALENT!!!

Think about this creative/contrarian idea of finding ‘TALENT’ at both ends of the “Talent Spectrum.” My favorite place to be looking for talent on this spectrum is on the far left or the far right. (And I’m not talking about political leanings!)

ST(AGE): 22-30 30-50 50-60 60-90+


  • Young
  • Passionate
  • Committed
  • Cause-Driven
  • Success-Driven
  • High Cost of Living
  • Family Priorities
  • Make A Difference
  • Seek Re-Potting
  • Great Coaches
  • Experience
  • Wisdom
  • Great Mentors
  • Untapped Resource

Some thoughts on the ‘Spectrum:’


Look on the ‘left’ end of the spectrum for incredibly passionate, excited, enthusiastic people – ‘superstars,’ young people who are unchallenged in their current job, bored, or just plain unhappy doing what they’re doing. You can offer them an opportunity to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Seek ‘Best & Brightest’ if you’ve got a job that just requires a lot of energy, commitment, hard work, travel, etc. Don’t worry about lack of experience – think of it as no ‘baggage!’ You can promise them an amazing experience, great contacts, ‘work’ days filled with challenges and meaning.

In Daniel Pink’s book, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, he writes that the new generation wants to be involved in something with a PURPOSE, not just a PAYCHECK! Many young people can view their work at a great For Impact organization as an upgraded internship – or even as a volunteer or youth service commitment!



This group to the ‘right’ is a terrific RESOURCE. Their families are (usually) raised and they ready to get out of ‘rat race.’ This group wants new challenges and would love to use their experience and talent to help change the world! We love these ‘young in spirit,’ talented Eagles and Ducks coming from the for-profit world who are aligning a change in career with purpose.

This group can bring a wealth of business experience, sales and financial expertise, or just plain productivity to their position and responsibilities. If it’s the right fit, someone at this point in life can have a HUGE impact on your organization – They are looking to get ‘re-potted’ and ‘re-energized’ around something more than work, more than a job. Yes, they still need to earn income, but many have other sources, and just want to be treated fairly. Recruit them on the MESSAGE not the MONEY!!!


There is an abundance of TALENT sitting under this category, just waiting to be asked! ELDERS-SAGES are a HUGE untapped resource for the For Impact world! Maybe not full-time, but these people bring so much wisdom, talent and life experience to the table, that they can have an amazing impact in only a few days a week or month.

Look here to find wonderful, wise and (often) witty Board Members, mentors and even ‘unpaid staff.’ Elders-Sages can offer incredible TALENT for a very affordable investment – with a huge ROI! If asked, many of these untapped resources will work for satisfaction/ fulfillment (vs. money!)

Here, you’ll find people who love your cause, vision and message, have a lot to contribute and ‘HUNGER for these OPPORTUNITIES!!!’ Just ASK them if they are interested! Just Ask a great Board Member who fits this profile to join you as a full-time/part-time STAFF PERSON!

If ‘60 is the new 50’ … then 70 and 80 are the new 60! ‘Boomers’ (millions of us) aren’t ready to retire, play golf, sit around the house, etc. They want to make a difference. And, it’s not about ‘money!’ They will help you and even INVEST!

See Marc Freedman’s book, The Big Shift for great stuff on ’boomers’ and ‘second careers’ at For Impact organizations.

“Only one in five Americans over 55 is currently on the job. Older Americans are wealthier, healthier and living longer. And there is ample evidence that they ‘HUNGER’ for OPPORTUNITIES to contribute their experience and time in meaningful ways.

America’s healthy aging population is the country’s only INCREASING NATURAL RESOURCE.”

-Marc Friedman (Prime Time)



People ‘in the middle,’ God bless them, need a job! Their focus is often on ‘the job,’ a paycheck and supporting their family. A focus on ‘heart,’ particularly the element of ‘work for free because you love what you do,’ is much tougher when you’re responsible for a family.

Look at this ‘TALENT SPECTRUM’ as a way of creatively adding great staff and volunteer leaders. I’m not suggesting you overlook all of the wonderful, talented, committed people who are in their “prime-earning years.” But don’t get caught up in thinking this is the BEST OR ONLY place to look because you need someone with X years of development experience!

Proverbial bottom line: Best & Brightest, Elders-Sages, Success to Significance. All of these are wonderful places to SEARCH FOR TALENT.

HIRE FOR ATTITUDE. TRAIN FOR SKILL. No more expensive hiring mistakes!!