Evaluating Your Annual Fundraising

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In today’s economic climate, there is more pressure than ever to ensure a steady stream of fundraising revenue and increase fundraising results with limited resources. To meet that challenge one must analyze current fundraising activities and develop an effective annual development plan to capitalize on strengths and improve areas of weakness. At the October 20, 2011 AFP Northeast Indiana luncheon, fundraising consultant Robert Croft, CFRE presented this program to show you how to conduct a self guided development audit to evaluate your current fundraising efforts, which donor metrics are most critical to track for growth, and how to create a plan that is unique to your organization that will improve your fundraising results.

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  • When you take an intentional process to compare your current practices to that of industry best practices you will raise that awareness within the organization…
  • Example: Best practice is 24-48 hr acknowledgement of gift
  • Do staff stick to plans that are created or do they routinely wander off course?
  • What are you doing to raise funds? What, where, when and how?
  • Consider effective strategies and best practices…
  • Evaluating Your Annual Fundraising

    1. 1. Evaluating Your Annual Fund Robert Croft, CFRE October 20, 2011 Consultants of Philanthropy ● Fund Raising ● Trainingwww.slideshare.net/rncroft
    2. 2. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhat a Profession!“The 30 Best Careers for 2009”(November 2008)“Top 15 Jobs with Stress that Pay Badly”(November 2009)
    3. 3. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundToday’s Objectives The Benefits of a Development Audit How to conduct a self evaluation Learn how to Analyze your program How to take this information and start creating an annual fundraising plan
    4. 4. How are You Doing? Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundHow are You Doing?
    5. 5. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundThe New Normal? Nonprofit Research Collaborative Study (FEP Study) In the first half of 2011: – 44% saw an increase – 25% raised the same – 20% raised less In the first half of 2010: – 43% saw an increase – 24% raised the same – 33% raised less
    6. 6. Crandall, Croft & Associates,Evaluating Your Annual Fund
    7. 7. Crandall, Croft & Associates,Evaluating Your Annual Fund
    8. 8. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhat is a Development Audit? An internal assessment of your overall fundraising program Examines governance, human capital, development systems, procedures, donor relations and fundraising approaches It is an essential tool to measure the gap between an organization’s current fund raising efforts and established best practices in the industry
    9. 9. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundReasons to Consider an Audit Planning a new fundraising initiative Not satisfied with current results Have a need to diversify revenue streams Want to increase board participation Currently engaged in strategic planning Would like an objective, expert evaluation Would like to raise the program to a higher level by incorporating industry best practices Source: What is a Development Audit and When Does Your Organization Need an Audit – Linda Lysakowski AFP Information Exchange
    10. 10. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhy Conduct an Audit? “If you dont know where youre going, you might not get there.” – Yogi Berra
    11. 11. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhat an Audit will Accomplish: Create a common understanding of development fundamentals/best practices Set a precedence of continuous improvement within the development program Start creating a pervasive culture of philanthropy
    12. 12. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhy Conduct an Audit?It’s hard to plan where youre going if you dont know where youve been.
    13. 13. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhat an Audit will Accomplish: Identify areas of strengths in fundraising Identify areas of weaknesses in fundraising Identify current giving patterns and donor preferences
    14. 14. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhy Conduct an Audit? “If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.” – Dr. Seuss Ain’t it GREAT to be a Fundraiser?
    15. 15. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhat an Audit will Accomplish: Provide clarity on areas for improvement Identify priorities for fundraising strategies by comparing current activities with accepted better/best practices Set goals, organizationally and personally, that will move towards a comprehensive fundraising program
    16. 16. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundDestination: A Strong and ConsistentFundraising Program
    17. 17. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundKeys to Strong Annual Fundraising Written Annual Fundraising Plan – With attainable goals and it is being followed Case for Support – Provides a clear and compelling reason to support the organization Regular Donor Communications – Clearly demonstrates how support makes a difference Know Thy Donors
    18. 18. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundKeys to Strong Annual Fundraising Strong Board Support – Including financial CEO Actively Involved in Fundraising Volunteer Fundraisers – Volunteers make the best fundraisers! Keep Records – Donor software program
    19. 19. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundDifferent Levels of Audit “Global Audit” – similar to S.W.A.T. analysis – Governance/Organizational Structure – External Environment – Fundraising Track Record – Constituency Analysis – Program Maturity Audit Tool Available: – Resource Availability http://www.guymallabone.com/ – Fundraising Culture resources – Donor Perspective
    20. 20. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundDifferent Levels of Audit Basic and Effective Audit: – Leadership Review: Board, CEO, Staff – Constituency Review – Fundraising Activities Review – Availability of Resources
    21. 21. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundLeadership Review  Board  CEO/Executive Director  Development Staff
    22. 22. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundBoard’s Role in Fundraising Believe strongly in the organizations mission in order to convince others of its merit. Contribute to the organization financially to the fullest of their personal capabilities as an indicator of commitment. Open doors to prospects and serve as an Ambassador for the organization. Make direct cultivation and solicitation calls by mail, telephone, or in-person. - Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals
    23. 23. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundBoard’s Role in FundraisingAdditionally, as a group the board: Approves all fundraising plans and budgets. Monitors revenue streams - the funds flowing into the organization. Identifies and rates potential donors. Hosts/Assists with cultivation events such as tours, socials, meetings, and presentations. - Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals
    24. 24. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundKey Questions @ Board Do all board members contribute financially as a sign of commitment? Do board members actively participate in the fund development process? Is there a development committee? The “culture of fundraising” begins with the board!!
    25. 25. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundQuestions @ CEO/Executive Director? Does the CEO understand the importance of development to the organization? What is the CEO’s role in fundraising? Is the CEO engaged in building relationships and soliciting major gifts? CEO is the Chief Fundraising Officer!
    26. 26. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundQuestions @ Development Staff Are staff professional and adequately knowledgeable? Is there a commitment to regular professional training and education? Are development staff roles clearly defined and focused only on fundraising? Do staff maintain ethics in fundraising? Are staffing levels adequate to meet fundraising needs?
    27. 27. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundConstituency Analysis
    28. 28. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundConstituency Analysis Create a list of your donor/prospect audiences? – Individuals, Corporations, Foundations, Churches, Alumni, Former Clients, Volunteers – Basic Demographics of donor base? List how you are connecting with these audiences? How are you cultivating? – News, newsletters, speaking engagements, special events, friends, volunteer opportunities, etc
    29. 29. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundCultivation of Constituency Do you know your top 100 donors? Do you have systems in place for identifying prospects, acquiring new prospects? Do you conduct research on donors and potential donors? Do you have a data management system in place to keep donor/prospect records?
    30. 30. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Activities Analysis
    31. 31. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Activity Review List all of your current fundraising activities: – Grant Writing – Direct Mail, Newsletter – Telephone – Recurring Giving Program – Planned Giving Program – Special Events – In-Kind donation drives – Personal Solicitation – Major Gift Program – Corporate Sponsorships
    32. 32. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Activity Review Review the three most recent years of giving: FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 Development Income $836,745 $770,189 $ 750,606 FY2009 # of gifts FY2010 # of gifts Sources Corporations $ 8,675 20 $ 7,601 21 Foundations $ 118,242 32 $ 58,621 30 Individuals* $1,401,515 6,078 $1,263,49 6,695 6 Other** $ 15,283 103 $ 11,594 112
    33. 33. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Review Questions Is the fundraising program diverse? Are fundraising efforts systematic and consistent? Are we utilizing established industry “best” practices? What approaches work best for this organization?
    34. 34. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Review Questions Do fundraising strategies reflect the mission and program activities? What is the ROI for the overall program and for each activity? (Are you tracking cost per dollar raised?)
    35. 35. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundDonor Software is COOL b/c… Reports, reports and more reports
    36. 36. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual Fund Giving Dynamics Report– What areas are strong?– What can be improved?– Should also monitor donor segments (presidents circle, monthly donors, corporations, etc)
    37. 37. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundIdentify Weak Areas Not many New Donors? Why? High attrition rate? Why? Donors Not Upgrading Support? Why? What can you do in each of these scenarios?
    38. 38. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual Fund (c) 2010. Blackbaud, Inc. (eTapestry the product]. Used with permission. All other rights reserved.- This report tracks a lot of metrics…goal, Cost Per Dollar Raised, average gift, etc.
    39. 39. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual Fund Fund Analysis Report Fund # of Donors # of Gifts Total Raised Average Gift Annual Fund – Unrestricted 1,312 3,051 $726,624.98 $238.16 Client Sponsorship 303 1,494 $233,051.66 $155.99 /Recurring Giving Group Home Construction 82 188 $112,510 $598.46 Special Olympics 31 37 $7,028.60 $189.96 New Community Center 29 64 $266,735 $4,167.73 Music Therapy Program 10 12 $3,545 $295.42 Animal Therapy Program 5 5 $2,995 $599.00 Endowment Fund 5 5 $17,350 $3,470Which area/program/giving option has the most donors? May indicate strongest appeal.Which has the highest average gift? Be sure to account for impact of major gifts.Compare with previous years and look for trends. May indicate a shift in interest indonor base.
    40. 40. Crandall, Croft & Associates,Now Consider Effective Strategies… Evaluating Your Annual Fund Focus on Effective Strategies
    41. 41. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundWhy is Annual Support Flat? In non-recessionary environment, flat or declining annual fundraising is often due to: – Too much emphasis on inefficient methods or too little emphasis on effective methods – Poor donor acquisition, or lack of planning or budget for acquisition – Poor donor retention!!! – Neglecting to analyze results and adjusting (usually from “tyranny of the urgent” and being understaffed)
    42. 42. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundThe Development Challenge The Fundraising “Bucket” – Acquisition and Retention  Nonprofits lose 5 donors for every 6 they obtain - Fundraising Effectiveness Project  A 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of the donor database by up to 200 percent. - IU Center on Philanthropy
    43. 43. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundTop Focus: Donor Retention Recent studies are showing that 9 out of 10 donors ARE NOT going to consider a gift supporting a new organization this year. 2011 FEP Study: NPOs gained more new or reactivated donors than they lost in lapsed donors in 2010, net increase of 1.7 percent in the number of donors. This compares favorably to a -3.2 percent average net loss of donors in 2009.
    44. 44. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundTop Focus: Donor Retention Where in the fundraising plan is donor stewardship and retention? What can we do to renew and keep Donors? – Create a new donor process – Intentional renewal solicitations – Intentional stewardship to build trust
    45. 45. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundMash it ALL Together!
    46. 46. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundMash it All Together! Considerations:  Specific strategies Audiences Approaches depends on what you want to Available Resources accomplish  Available resources are major limited factor Annual Fundraising Plan
    47. 47. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundAudiences - Donor SegmentsTop Donors (Major Gifts)Staff Responsible: GaryObjective: To cultivate relationships and secure major gifts for annual support and forspecial projects or capital needs through personal contact.A specific cultivation and solicitation plan should be developed for each person within themajor gift list, and a total annual goal from this group determined. This group must be amanageable list of donors who have demonstrated major gifts with previous giving toRainbow Acres, or have been specifically identified as a major gift prospect, includingrancher families. Should be no more than 25-50 donors. (A full time major gifts officer canonly effectively cultivate about 80-120 individuals per year.)For the moment, Gary should identify individuals capable of completing Community CenterCampaign and focus on a few individual major gifts for annual support.Activities:Develop specific and individualized cultivation and solicitation strategies for each donorFace to face visitsPhone callsPersonal notes, Birthday cards or calls, holiday cards, etcEmail when appropriateVIP Events (like reception during 35th anniversary)Individuals may be include in regular appeal letter mailings at CEO’s discretion, but musthave a handwritten cover note.Solicitations should be specific whenever possibleTwice a year, the development team should intentionally review donor list and recent gifts forpotential major gift prospects to add to this segment
    48. 48. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundFundraising Activities (Approaches)Direct Mail:2009 Sybunt AppealsAugust 09 Appeal letter sent to all Sybunts who had given $1-$499Sept mail appeal letter to all Sybunts who had given $500 or more (636 individuals)ask to renew supportSegment by date of last gift (the further out the gift, the lower the gift array/request shouldbe…goal is to recapture at any amount)Acquisition MailingsAcquisition efforts are critical to maintaining current donor levels to account for donorattrition, as well as adding to the donor base.Fall 2009 – An acquisition package may be created to mail in October targeting the 6,000 onthe list who have never given. The theme could be around highlighting 35 years of ministryand accomplishments. Given current staff limitations, consideration may be given to draftingthe Year end appeal message around this theme and then slightly adjust package andmessage for this group.Fall 2010 – A traditional acquisition approach should be planned for the Fall of 2010,including list rental options.
    49. 49. Crandall, Croft & Associates,Renewal Mailings Evaluating Your Annual FundRainbow Acres should mail 4 renewal appeals each year. The main target group for thesemailings are active donors (current and Lybunt). The idea is to mail two general annualsupport appeals (Year End and May Mailing) and two specific invitations (Adopt a Rancherand a Special Need Project).November 2009 – Year End Appeal – theme on 35 years of accomplishments, with followup in December. May also mail to larger group.Target Group: Current donors, Lybunts, and SybuntsPieces: Letter, Response Card, #10 Envelope, BRE (business reply envelope), AZ Tax CreditInsert for AZ residentsTimeline:October 19 – First Draft of Year End AppealNovember 2 – Draft letter to GaryNovember 9 – Finalize letter, response card, #10 envelope and BRENovember 16 – Letters/package to volunteer mail processorsNovember 30 – Drop DateFebruary 2010 – Adopt a Rancher Mailing – the goal of this mailing is to promote theAdopt a Rancher program.Target Group: Current donors, Lybunts and “6,000”Pieces: Letter, Something about adoptable Ranchers (bios, photos, etc), OversizedEnvelope (6x9) with teaser, Response device, BRETimeline:January 25 – First Draft of Year End AppealFebruary 1 – Draft letter to GaryFebruary 8 – Finalize letter, response card, #10 envelope and reply envelopeFebruary 15 - Letters/package to volunteer mail processorsFebruary 22 – Drop Date
    50. 50. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Direct Mail Evaluating Your Annual Fund Communications Special Events Gary’s Schedule September 09 Sybunt Mailing – 2010 CALENDAR $500 + prev. gift October Acquisition package 35th Anniversary 35th Anniversary EventAnnual Fundraising Plan November to 6,000 never givers Year End Appeal Rainbow Promise Event Host Desserts with Individual/personal (house list) (Highlight 35th, mail Major Donor solicitations to top - Tax Credit insert to early Nov) Prospects (continue donors AZ donors thru 2010) December Current Renewal Christmas Cards …….. …….. Appeal (non-solicitation) Follow up to Year …….. …….. End mailing 2010 January AAR Follow up to Q1 Rainbow …….. non-responses Promise Tax Statements and Brief Annual Report February Adopt a Rancher …….. Package (house list plus “6,000”) March Church AAR …….. promotional (mini- display) April Final follow up Q2 Rainbow Blazin’ M Event mailing to 6,000 Promise never givers May General Appeal Update Mailing Letter to Families (house list) June
    51. 51. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual Fund Development Calendar 2009September 2009Draft SYBUNT mailing to $500+ donorsCreate Job Description for Development AssistantFinalize Plans for 35th anniversaryMail 2010 CalendarDraft Thank you letter for OctoberHire Development AssistantOctober 2009Begin creating a data/entry and donor process binderWork with Carey to define specific data entry field definitions and values, as well as giftprocessing procedureCreate single page gift entry flowcharts for specific donor segments, including checklist andthank you processCreate New Donor Process (see Development Plan)Draft Year End appeal letterFinalize 35th Anniversary needs30-31 - 35th Anniversary EventMake phone calls to lapsed Church SupportNovember 2009Rainbow Promise out in early November (focus is on 35th anniversary)Mail Year End Appeal LetterSegment AZ residents and include insert highlighting tax creditDraft and mail renewal letter to AAR donorsCoffee/Dessert Events with Major Donor ProspectsConsider themes for Blazin’ M event, research previous notes (if available), and create
    52. 52. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual Fund Annual Fundraising Plan2011 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DECGroup A Newsltr Letter Newsltr Appeal Newsltr Back to Appeal Newsltr Thank You EOY Ltr from a School Card child ReportGroup B Newsltr Program Newsltr Appeal Newsltr Letter from Appeal Newsltr Thank You EOY Ltr Recap the Card Report PresidentGroup C Newsltr State of Newsltr Appeal Letter Newsltr Appeal Newsltr Thank You EOY Ltr the Org with Card Ltr photosGroup D Newsltr Letter Newsltr Appeal Newsltr Private Appeal Newsltr Thank You EOY Ltr from X event Card Source: Janet L. Hedrick, CFRE from “Near, Dear, and Clear” by Paul Lagasse in Advancing Philanthropy Nov/Dec 2010
    53. 53. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundHow Often to Evaluate?  Evaluate Overall Plan annually – Ideally, fundraising plan will align with strategic planning  Evaluate each approach constantly
    54. 54. Crandall, Croft & Associates, Evaluating Your Annual FundQuestions?

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