Award Season for Philanthropy and Fundraising

With the announcement of the 2017 Tony Award nominations at the beginning of this week—and, aren’t all you Tolstoy fans excited about the 12 nominations for Natasha, Pierre, and the Comet of 1812—I began to think about these “seasons” which every industry seems to experience.

From the Golden Globes to the Oscars, it is Hollywood’s time.  In the late spring with the previously mentioned Tonys, it is Broadway’s turn.

In the nonprofit world, late spring brings fewer grand scale awards, yet still brings the sector together with the releases of major annual reports that encourage us all to rethink our current standing and future direction.  From the Fundraising Effectiveness Project report to the Annual Report of Giving USA, those in philanthropy and fundraising, focus on these data and how they affect the industry and our place in it.

We would like you to ask one question when you examine these new resources, “How do we move from data to action?”

For instance, the latest Individual Donor Benchmark Report was issued this week.  The data in this report was compiled from “small, and mighty” organizations with budgets under $2,000,000.  In the report, we learned that on average

  • organizations retain about 60% of their donors from year to year;
  • 4 of 10 board members are active in fundraising in any significant way;
  • 1 out of every 5 individual donor dollars is given online;
  • these organizations raise 34% of their revenue from individuals;
  • about ½ of individual revenue comes from donors giving less than $1,000; and
  • the best way to ensure fundraising success is to have a plan.

How can you turn this data into action?

Celebrate your philanthropy and fundraising strengths

Find areas where you are doing well—better than the average noted above—and build on those strengths. Be sure to share your successes with your colleagues and board!

Identify your challenges

This data is your opportunity to check-in on how you are faring against the average and where you might want to strengthen your fundraising program.

Find markers that motivate your team

If your staff and board are obsessed with increasing online donations, focus there, and use the averages in this report as a guide. We recommend picking one or two markers of success for your organization and work on those smaller goals.

Above all, create a strategic development plan

Focus your entire enterprise on the one or two goals you have chosen so that next year you will have even more to celebrate.  Call me at 1 (800) 361 8689 if you would like to learn how we can help you collect the data, measure your achievements, and guide you in a plan for even greater success.