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strategy and fundraising
How effective is your fundraising and are you making the most of your opportunities? Are there gaps which you are not yet covering, or are there current activities where you know you could do better? It is worth standing back every few years and taking a good look at your fundraising operation, to see if you are still optimising your income.
Some helpful questions to ask include: Are we investing in the right areas? (and how do we know?). Are we hitting the benchmark returns on investment? Is our fundraising strategy well balanced or out of kilter? Have we got all the skills we need to maximise our income? Where will future growth come from? Are we training and resourcing our people effectively to deliver what we expect of them? Have we got the fundraising materials we need to do the job? Are we making the most of our networks and contacts? Are we missing any tricks?
A fundraising review (also known as a fundraising health check or audit) takes an impartial look at your fundraising operation and provides an objective overview of where you are now and what actions you need to take to move things to the next level.
A fundraising review can either look at your whole income generation, or at selected parts of it, such as your trust fundraising or legacy work.
Some charities conduct these reviews internally, while others prefer to use external expertise, which can be more objective and also brings in wider sector knowledge. Sometimes, there are sensitive issues to deal with, such as underperformance and this can often be more easily handled with outside help.
So when is a good time to conduct a review? Certainly, if one has not been done for several years, it is worth considering. A good time is also when a charity is looking to update its fundraising strategy, which can be a logical opportunity to check the big picture first. Some organisations will commission a review when staff changes present an opportunity for a fresh start.
In summary, a fundraising review is an important part of the fundraising planning process and more than pays for itself by ensuring your charity is making the best of its opportunities.
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