When fundraising isn’t good, it is never [or almost never] simply the result of having an ineffective development professional. When fundraising isn’t strong, it’s because one or more of these things at your organization is broken, damaged, or failing. This isn’t to say that a good or bad fundraiser doesn’t matter; it’s simply that that isn’t the whole story (often it’s not even the biggest part of the story). The bad news here, also, is that a great fundraiser can’t fix fundraising when other fundamental organizational things are broken. Before you reach for a pink slip…
MISSION MOMENTS: KEEPING YOUR BOARD CONNECTED
Are your board members missing meetings? Not showing up at events? Are your board members M.I.A.? Fear not! You can keep them engaged with mission moments.
It’s that time of year when many nonprofit organizations are working on the annual budget. An Executive Director friend, working on his budget, asked me if I could outline for him what types of expenses belong in a combined development, marketing, and communications budget. He wants to make sure that the Development Director at his organization has all the tools he needs in the budget to succeed.
Kudos to him! The reality is that it takes money to make money and my friend is wise to realize that. It won’t do any good to put a Development Director on your payroll if you don’t also provide him or her with a budget to work with. If you want your development director to solicit major gifts, for example, you need your development officer to be able to visit your major donors, to see them face to face and, unless your donors live inside your office building, that means needing a budget for travel.
Here are some things that a Development Director is going to need funding for and a template for a development budget.
Signs Your Organization Lacks a Culture of Philanthropy – Part II
In an earlier post, I wrote about some of the ways that a board of directors reveals that an organization does not have a Culture of Philanthropy. Here I write about how some of an organization’s Executive Directors and staff members similarly make visible that an organization lacks a Culture of Philanthropy.
Too many organizations want to treat fundraising as an add-on, like an extra appendage sewn onto the body. Imagine attaching a limb—say an arm—to the body, but not connecting it to the circulatory and nerve system and not re-wiring the brain to recognize the new arm. How uselessly it would flop around! Eventually, without blood, oxygen, and the protection of the nerve system, the limb would die.
For fundraising to work – that is, for fundraising to be done as sustained, donor-centric development, rather than as an episodic, short-term, organization-centered fundraising, fundraising requires changes with which many organizations are simply not comfortable.
If fundraising hasn’t been an integral part of the organization’s life from its beginning, it has to be skillfully grafted on in a way that wires it to the brain and connects it to the body’s major systems.
Here are my 13 Ways an Organization Reveals That It Is Not Serious about Fundraising
Nonprofit Board members are unprepared to govern. That’s the finding of the 2015 Survey on Board of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations, a study released in April jointly conducted by Guidestar, BoardSource, and the Stanford Business School.
What remedies would we pursue if we were to view the breakdowns in our systems of nonprofit governance as failures of the early stages of team building rather than as the [later] results of process and outcomes failures?