Is Nonprofit Fundraising Underdeveloped?
What sets UnderDeveloped apart from other fundraising-related surveys is the input and emphasis coming from both development directors and chief executive officers of the same organizations. The results note that a significant disconnect exists between leadership and development leadership of these organizations. Andrew Watt, president and CEO of AFP, stated that "it's increasingly clear that staff and boards in many organizations do not understand how fundraising works. Creating a culture of philanthropy must be the responsibility of everyone involved in the organization—all of the staff, top-down, and most importantly, all of the board members."
UnderDeveloped identified 10 calls to action for the nonprofit sector to fundamentally change its beliefs and practices related to donor relations and fundraising:
- Embrace fund development
- Elevate the field of fundraising
- Strengthen and diversify the talent pool
- Train boards differently
- Apply the transition management framework to the development director position
- Invest strategically in grantee fundraising capacity
- Leverage technological innovation-embrace creativity
- Set realistic goals for development
- Share accountability for fundraising results
- Exercise fundraising leadership
A key to change is the education plus engaging of non-fundraising staff in the fundraising process. This will take time and a great deal of patience. When you approach this scenario, work internally then externally. Understand that each person has different levels of education, experience and interest in promoting fundraising. For many years, those in non-fundraising departments thought it was solely the director of development's job to become Santa Claus and bring in bags of money each week. Like links on a chain, if everyone would understand the role they could play in the process, the level of success would greatly increase. The first step in this endeavor is to have your CEO become a champion for this culture change with staff, board and volunteers. Look at best-of-class successful programs and emulate them.
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.