Does Your Organization Need A Development Audit?

Abacus imageA development audit, by nature, is a wellness check-up for your organization. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of a nonprofit’s development efforts as well as the opportunities and threats of the environment in which it seeks resources. By taking the time to do an assessment of your organization, you can realize a new potential for your enterprise.

  • Organizations choose to undertake a development audit to achieve:
  • Diversification of funding;
  • Efficient methods and a full utilization of current internal and external resources;
  • A baseline to measure a development program;
  • A definitive understanding of their funding potential that will guide them during a strategic planning process;
  • A stronger, and more successful, annual fund program; and
  • A complete picture when preparing for a major capital or endowment campaign.

Who Is Involved?
At Mersky, Jaffe & Associates, when we conduct a development audit for our clients, we speak with everyone involved in the organization from the development staff to principal volunteers, from the CEO to board members. Donors are also interviewed.

What is involved?
During a development audit we will explore and report extensively on:

  • the segments of your primary giving constituencies and how you should approach them;
  • fundraising and stewardship of present donors;
  • effectiveness in recapturing lapsed donors;
  • current solicitation techniques;
  • acknowledgment and recognition of gifts;
  • the promotion of special events, the events’ value to your organization and how they impact the total development effort;
  • the ratio of development expense to amount raised;
  • communications with friends, donors and potential donors to ensure that they present dramatic and effective appeals for support;
  • your potential for planned giving programs;
  • the effectiveness of your computer support for donor tracking, fundraising management reports, donor research, and donor recognition;
  • the process and practice of your donor and prospect management system;
  • effective hiring and use of development team staff; and
  • recruitment and management of volunteer solicitors.

So, Does Your Organization Need A Development Audit?
Most organizations can benefit from an outside perspective on their efforts as well as the opportunities and challenges available that they may be missing. Whether or not you choose to utilize outside counsel usually depends on if you think the benefits will outweigh the costs. And, as always, implementation and organizational commitment make the difference.

At Mersky, Jaffe & Associates we seek to help you achieve your greatest potential.