How to do a fund development audit c effect


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An audit of your fund development program is an essential element of developing your fundraising plan. This approach assesses all aspects of your organization through your fundraiser eyes.

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  • How many of you have audited your fundraising program in the last three years? Did you do it yourself or with consultation?
  • Opportunities to do an audit include: Coming into a new positionLaunching a new program (e.g. major gifts, endowment, etc)Preparing for a campaignNeed a fresh lookFeeling stuck
  • To the “stuckness question” This new study lookedat a number of UK orgs that had doubled, tripled even quadrupled their fundraising. Worth reading. It’s not about technique, but about the leadership and organization development conditions that enabled success. I hear too often from organizations that have been suffering with little growth or success in their fundraising and have developed a mindset that they can’t do better.
  • This looks at the overall breakdown of nonprofit revenues. For smaller organizations, the mix is different, with Private contributions providing a greater share of the pie.
  • The leaky bucket of giving --
  • Again from AdrianSargeant’s analysis – what is a system? Major focus on Systems perspective: natural systems, designed physical systems (buildings), designed abstract systems (mathematics), human activity systems (organizations, teams)What systems affect the effectiveness of your fundraising program?
  • See Five Elements of Strategic Thinking
  • What do you read – where do you go for information? Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Research, Professional Associations, Daily newspaper, NPR – fabulous,Organization development books – Reframing orgs, Leadership, Stewardship, Governance, Performance Measurement – I use Twitter to crowdfind important research
  • Part of the Statement of RevenueA major challenge in comparing is that not every organization classifies their income the same.
  • Note the fundraising events – another schedule that you can look at.
  • Other things you can find are endowment funds, expenses functionally broken down, sometimes salaries. Etc.
  • Because the 990 doesn’t differentiate types of contributions, you will have to look elsewhere. If you are lucky, the annual report of the organization will break their income out separately. You can request this, or some organizations post their annual reports and even their audited financial statements online. The idea is to collect a sample – both with like type of organizations, but other organizations that you think have a similar profile – maybe the same size fundraising department. Or organizations you aspire to be.
  • To compare yourself more broadly, can look at NCCS database, taken from Business Master File of IRS
  • These reports can help you figure out where you fit in the local landscape. You can see who the other organizations are by going to Guidestar and searching the list
  • In Guidestar advanced search, can also ask for state, size of organization, keyword, type of organization. Be careful of mistakes.Have no idea why the Vivian Porch Welfare League Trust is showing up. 2012 990 says address is in IL? Bank of America even in IL.
  • Why would you want to interview these segments of stakeholders? Be bold. Step out of your comfort zone if you can. You want to test some of the things I mentioned previously: How strong is your reputation – what are people saying about you? What are you known for? What is the impression of your programs? What are the trends/best practices in your program field – are you in alignment with them? How well know are you? What support is there in your organization for your fundraising activities? What do your donors consider the strong points of your programs? What is donor reaction to the various aspects of your fund development program? How strong is your donor communications program? Are you engaging donors at the level they would like to be engaged. What opportunities exist: e.g. funding needs, shifting interests?
  • Just how many people are there in your community? By age (most givers are older, right!) By household income – match to numbers, match to townsSource of data: US Census Bureau
  • Census is your friend. This is just a snapshot of two age groups.
  • Graph the data to see what it looks like. Go as far back as you have good data. Be careful of intervening events – you have to interpret this data yourself. Don’t assume, dig deep.
  • A SWOT analysis used in any kind of planning – it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. But be serious about this. I haven’t met an organization that hasn’t said “great staff” Is this really true? A good read for you is “Good to Great” and “Good to Great and the Social Sectors” by Jim Collins. In his research he identified 5 aspects of greatness: Discipline peopled (right people in right seat, level 5 leadership), disciplined thought (confront brutual facts, hedgehog), Disciplined Action (culture of discipline, flywheel), Built to Last (clock building, preserve the core) These principles can help you in your analysis of these items – how well do you stack up?
  • I look at my SWOT somewhat differently – assets, opportunities, missing pieces and work arounds/concerns. You could call it AMOC. Do this for every segment of your data. Again, you are telling yourself a story here. This is just a snapshot of 3 of many categories.
  • How to do a fund development audit c effect

    1. 1. How to do aFund Development AuditAnalyzing your organization through your fundraiser eyes Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE
    2. 2. Topics  Audit overview  Components  Data collection  Analysis  What’s next?
    3. 3. Workshop rules:  This is a taste, not the whole meal  Ask  Share
    4. 4. When to do an audit?
    5. 5. “… basic assumptions and normsabout how the organizationoperated …had to be challengedand changed ….“In a number of cases … theorganization had been failing tomeet its fundraising targets forseveral years … it was nowassumed that the target wouldnot be met and that it wasacceptable not to meet it.“Such assumptions wereunacceptable.”Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang
    6. 6. Putting charitable giving in perspective$73.9 billion $298.4 billion $10 billion $15 billion
    7. 7. Private Contributions  Individuals  Private Foundations  Businesses  Grant making public charities BequestsFrom Giving USA 2012
    8. 8. The leaky bucket:What to do to keep thebucket full: Keep the givers and gifts you have Replace what you lose Grow givers and gifts
    9. 9. What is a whole organization fund development audit?Comprehensive assessmentof your organization and yourfundraising program with a goalof strategic improvement.
    10. 10. From “Great Fundraising”“In our view, what makes a fundraising leader trulygreat is how they go about answering [this] question:“How might all these existing systems betransformed systematically such that greatfundraising may be created?”
    11. 11. How do I do it?
    12. 12. Prepare yourself
    13. 13. Think strategicallyIntent focusedSystems perspectiveIntelligent opportunismThinking in timeHypothesis driven
    14. 14. Know your industry Fundraising Your cause Your marketplace What makes organizations great
    15. 15. Where to start 1. External Scan  Benchmark  Review data  Talk to people 2. Internal Scan  Review data  Talk to people  Prepare a SWOT
    16. 16. BenchmarkingFundraising Profile of PeerOrganizations Ask Compare 990s Compare Annual Reports Review the field
    17. 17. Reviewing a 990Front Page
    18. 18. Annual Report
    19. 19. National Center for Charitable Statistics
    20. 20. Get an outside perspectivePeople to interview Donors Prospects Peer organizations Trendsetters Institutional funders Clients Board members Program staff _________________
    21. 21. Know your market Giving universe Wealth/scarcity of institutional funders “Competition” _____________________
    22. 22. For example
    23. 23. RI householdsby income forzips 02818 and02906
    24. 24. Know thyself Trend data  Donor longevity  Long term value of a donor (by solicitation source)  Donor profile  Donor acquisition and attrition – New and returning donors – Donors who have dropped out and not returned – New donors  Increases or decreases in giving  Income by solicitation sources  Giver counts by gift range  Donation totals by gift range  Average gift trends  Geography or other demographics  Other ______________________
    25. 25. What else to analyze Mission & Program Case for Support Culture of Philanthropy & Leadership Constituents Fundraising Program Stewardship Program Brand Identity & Communications Fund Development Capacity & Infrastructure Legal & Regulatory
    26. 26. Pull it all together into an analysis Executive Summary Mission Profile of Fund Development Summary giving Profile Comparison with Peers Assets- Opportunities- Missing Pieces- Work Arounds/Concerns by SWOT element Detailed data Findings from external research
    27. 27. The audit only matters if it guides your fundraising plan Develop opportunities Strengthen weaknesses Mothball or abandon unpromising directions Do more research Lobby for needed investments
    28. 28. Questions?
    29. 29. Thank you Sign up for our free monthly eNews & our blog Check out our free online toolbox at Call me at 401-331- 2272