Nonprofit board members are reminded again and again to think of our role in terms of the “three Ts” — offering time, treasure, and talent to the organizations we serve. There is no question that nonprofits and society are well served when boards are able and enthusiastically fulfilling these core responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
But when it comes to fundraising, boards have another important responsibility, and that’s setting strategy. Should we prioritize targeting existing donors for larger gifts? Or should we consider a broader campaign to bring in lots of new, smaller donors? Is the cost of that new donor management system worth it? Do we need more staff, or can we continue to rely on volunteers to lead our fundraising? And is that direct mail campaign really a good investment?
Unfortunately, when it comes to weighing in on decisions like these, many board members have little data or information to go on. Across the sector, nonprofits lack frameworks and tools for evaluating fundraising approaches. This is why I am so excited about the new resource BoardSource has developed in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and GuideStar. The Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness framework helps boards and their organizations bring a new, evidence-based approach to conversations about nonprofit finance and fundraising.
In the Haas, Jr. Fund’s work, we have seen that success in nonprofit fundraising comes from creating shared responsibility for development across the board and staff, making a commitment to discipline and continuous improvement, and investing strategically to develop the right systems for your organization.
Read the full article about fundraising effectiveness by Linda Wood at BoardSource.