Fundraising: Evaluate. Assess. Review.

At last week’s 23 @ 4 program PCNRC’s Marilynn Fauth talked about the importance of regularly evaluating, assessing and then reviewing (or revising) a nonprofit’s fundraising activities.

Begin by asking the following questions:

  1. What’s your development strategy ?
  2. Does your organization have a written fundraising plan?
  3. How is your budget developed?
  4. Does the board approve an annual budget which has increases in expenses but doesn’t have any thoughtful revenue to off-set those increases?
  5. Are Fundraising activities suggested just because something’s GOT to be DONE, but they are not well-planned; are unrelated or a mismatch to the organization’s mission?

    Click on image to begin powerpoint presentation

REMEMBER though…Fundraising isn’t just about the money, it’s also about:

  • Interpersonal relationship building with donors, staff & volunteers
  • Ability and skill to organize & plan a profitable and successful activity
  • Reasons and intent: Revenue generating, Friend cultivation
  • Economic: fiscal responsibility, need and Driving More Revenue streams.

But to prepare a fundraising plan for the future that identifies goals, objectives, strategies, action plans & timetables you must first evaluate what you are currently doing.

Begin by creating a side-by-side comparison of the last two or three years fundraising and income generating activities for your organization. include columns for: income, expenses and profit (or loss) for each activity.  Don’t forget to include staff salaries if available or estimable.  Fundraising comparison example

Next, assess each activity to determine whether or not it is viable. This may mean that even though the activity does not generate a significant profit, it may nonetheless be valuable for other reasons, such as service to the community or friend raising. This Assess past FundRaising & project future FundRaising example will give you an idea of how this can be done.

Written fundraising plan:

– Must have fundraising goals & organization goals in it and they should be set at the same time.

– Should show how much money is needed to fund specific programs & services, including overhead.

– Should detail which income source generates the most profit and ask what does its future look like?

– Should identify which revenue source is most reliable? Which is least reliable? and Which has the most potential?

– Should include a Fundraising Calendar outlining the organization’s fiscal year fundraising activities and events.

More resources are included in the presentation.

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