The Leaky Bucket Nonprofit Blog

What's the Deal with Development Audits?

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

Why conduct a development audit? What is it anyway?

Development audits are in-depth analyses of what's happening in your fundraising shop - and what some people in the organization think is happening (or not). Opinions about such audits run the gamut from hate, fear and distrust to enthusiasm and delight at insights gained. We recently launched our new SMART Way Development Audit, and tailored it to respond to both the "delight" party and the "hate, fear and distrust" party. 

Since we're addicted to research, we surveyed nonprofit professionals about their opinions on audits. Here's what we discovered:

  • The two things people FEAR THE MOST about Development Audits 
  • WHY people want to conduct Development Audits, in spite of their fears
  • Whose voices SHOULD BE HEARD when doing these audits, and...
  • Are Development Audits just another way for fundraising consultants to wangle more money out of their clients?? 

If you'd like to see our video series on this topic, check it out here.

Thoughts About Development Audits


Have a Great Year-End - Without Spoiling 2017 Fundraising

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 09:28 AM

Yahoo, it's the end of the year! Let's all go bananas with our year-end campaigns!!!! Why not? You do it every year, right? So that means you should keep on doing it, um, er, right? You are being a good nonprofit leader. Aren't you?


Why Social Media is a Game Changer for Nonprofits in 2016

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

What's the biggest secret weapon to give you fantastic fundraising results? Can ya guess?


This Woman is Off Her Fundraising Rocker!

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

Recently the wonderful people at invited me to do a webinar Fundraising the SMART Way: Why We Need a Fundraising Revolution, for about 300 attendees. One comment stood out above the rest: "I've been in fundraising for twenty years, but this woman is off her rocker!!!"


Take the Uncertainty Out of Fundraising

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 03:36 PM

What's the bigger challenge to fundraising: complexity or uncertainty? Both plague most development shops. Development officers encounter complexity every day. They juggle a zillion prospects, campaigns, events, sponsorships, and reporting tasks, so maybe it's all that complexity that's the bigger problem. On the other hand, uncertainty is also a constant threat, from the development officer's concerns about whether or not Mrs. Richperson's major gift is or isn't ever going to come to fruition, all the way to the board's lack of certainty about the accuracy or timeliness of reporting. And the potential face-ripping that might be encountered by the CEO if the forecast isn't actually met. Ouch.


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