How are you looking at your fundraising rate of return?
It is critical that you develop a variety of ways to measure your performance and report these results to the board.
In doing so, you are ensuring appropriate stewardship of your resources through demonstrating that your fundraising is efficient and effective. While it does cost money to raise funds, as professionals, we need to be assured that we aren’t spending excessive amounts to do so. While our board should be looking at these types of benchmarks, we can be sure that our donors and public is. Take a look at the recent issue surrounding the Wounded Warriors national charity.
It is important that we do invest in fundraising and administrative costs in these functions appropriately, even though there is much criticism for doing so.
What constitutes a reasonable amount?
James Greenfield wrote several important books several years ago, and I regularly still find myself turning to his outline on how to best measure the costs of fundraising. One book, in particular, has been especially valuable. It is titled, Fundraising Cost Effectiveness: A Self-Assessment Workbook and was written in 1996. He highly recommends the importance of benchmarking to other similar organizations in the sector both aggregate and on an individual fundraising level. What are best practice and industry standards and how does your organization compare?
It is only through this analysis that we can say that our fundraising is within acceptable boundaries of efficiency.
As a fundraising consultant, I spend lots of time auditing organization’s fundraising effectiveness through auditing their development function comparing it to industry standards.