If there is ever a time for your organization's leadership to rethink fundraising practices, it's now, in this period of economic uncertainty. We all know money is tight; maybe this is not the right time to seek huge gifts or risk launching a major event. But it IS the right time to evaluate the sustainability of your fund development efforts so you can achieve consistent and predictable funding at controllable costs. And that takes leadership.
If your charity's leadership isn't scrutinizing your development strategy, philosophy, campaigns, methods of managing performance and the like, they're not stepping up. Board and staff leadership must be able to think in an entrepreneurial fashion, look critically at current methods and practices, and push for systematic ways to manage and improve development.
In short, great nonprofit leadership is intimately tied to the ways the agency earns its money, even if the CEO never makes a single ask. If staff and board leaders don't understand how development works, if they find it intimidating, or if they don't know how to evaluate and improve its productivity, the agency suffers needlessly.
We read a terrific article called "Freeing the Social Entrepreneur" which addresses this topic, published in a recent issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review. If you're not already a subscriber, sign up; it's an excellent publication.
And take another step. Take our Leaky Bucket Assessment of Fundraising Sustainability. It will show you the key management practices that produce high levels of sustainability and productivity - or hinder it. These practices don't emerge without strong leadership. We look forward to receiving your Assessment and reporting back to you.