Determining the True Cost of Fundraising
Appel added: “This avenue can help current donors make tremendous contributions to your organization — much more than they could with current-use gifts.”
Calculating the true cost of planned-giving campaigns depends on factoring in these items: design, printing and mailing costs; telephone calls or campaign costs; travel and entertainment costs; legal, investment and other related costs; consultant costs; gift administration and reporting costs; staff costs, including planned-gift officer and gift administrator.
The ability to accurately calculate expenses for activities decreases greatly from events to annual fund to major gifts, and especially with planned gifts, Lowstetter said.
“But the answer is in how transparent you can be,” he added.
An integral part of transparency and determining the true cost of raising funds is team work. Appel said nonprofits’ development and finance offices must work together to develop and grow their working relationships.
“Recognize fundraising as not only as a means to build revenue but also a way to help your supporters have a voice in your work, demonstrate their gratitude, stay connected and support your nonprofit status,” Lowstetter added. “And listen to them.”
Melissa Dodge is a public relations and media coordinator for Blackbaud.