Focus on Individuals to Raise More

Our analysis of the Outlook 2013 survey took an in-depth look at a wide range of factors that contributed to how and why organizations raised more.  Our conclusion: Focus on Individuals to Raise More.

Seventy-one percent of the organizations that raised more in Outlook 2013, did so because individual donors are giving more — more than corporate and foundation giving. This is not new information, and the conclusion is further supported by many other industry studies, as well as all three of our previous Outlook Surveys.

The 2013 survey data also provides support for the fact that it takes more resources (in the form and staff and budgets) and greater focus to raise more money from individuals.

So, how does one best focus their development efforts on individual donors? We think we’ve identified a few factors that can help.

  1. Maintain a full-time staff of Development professionals (and the more the better)

There is a direct correlation between the number of full-time development staff personnel and the organizations that raised more. Fifty percent of the organizations with 10 or more staff members raised more, and the organizations with six or more development personnel were less likely to report they raised less. More staff is better.

  1. Develop a Written Annual Plan

The organizations that prepare an annual fund-raising plan, either for internal use or one that is coordinated across multiple departments raised more at a higher frequency than those organizations that did not have a plan.

  1. Ensure that the Development staff interacts with the Governing Board

Seventy-one percent of survey participants that promote development office interaction with their Governing Board raised more money. This behavior was a stronger indicator of success in our survey than many other factors traditionally thought to be best practice and the industry’s conventional wisdom.

  1. .Get the CEO actively engaged in Fund Raising.Nearly 50 percent of all survey participants raised more money, but only 32 percent of those without CEO involvement.

There are of course many paths to success, but based on our analysis of the marketplace in 2013, these steps will likely be the most effective in moving your organization closer to achieving its goals.

click here for pdf version:  FRM58