UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

If you’ve worked for nonprofits for long enough, especially in development, it’s likely that the results of this recent Compass Point and Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund project survey will not surprise you. Development, or fundraising offices, have a revolving door and a cycle that perpetuates this problem.

I’ve been told that in bad economies, in poorer budget years, development staff is the first to go. I’ve seen it. And it hurts. It hurts the people who love the work of connecting our communities to our missions and it makes it so much more difficult for organizations to keep programs open.

And so, I cringe to see nonprofits backed into making such a devastating decision because I’ve been taught that organizations must invest in fundraising to truly build the conditions necessary to address the needs we’re addressing. I cringe because the vicious cycle only continues as we under-invest in fundraising – and we have so many ways of under-investing.

The report details the nature of this cycle and even offers some clues as to what nonprofits can do to break out them. Read the full report at this link to the PDF: UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

Recently we were witness to part of this cycle as local nonprofits posted a slew of development jobs – perhaps on the other side of a market recovery. It was exciting to post these opportunities to area job seekers – and to have such hope for the organizations seeking change. Here’s to local nonprofits investing in their missions by valuing fundraising and fundraisers for their work – and it’s direct impact on our missions.

And all this talk about investing in fundraising reminds us of Dan Palotta’s TED talk from earlier this year:

Certainly was stirring then, and is stirring enough still to warrant adding this commentary, from Shannon Ellis over at the Compass Points of View blog, “Dan Pallotta’s TedTalk is Dead Right AND Leaves Out an Important Part of the Argument.

2 thoughts on “UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

  1. This was a very thought-provoking and powerful message. I will endeavor to find ways to open minds to consider what good can come if we change the way we think about social profit enterprises. Thank you for posting this video.


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