DickersonBakker Blog

Ten Questions to Ask Major Gift Fundraisers to Help Them Stay on the Road to Success

Most non-profit organizations are more apt at measuring process indicators than they are at measuring outcomes. Except when it comes to development. In this case the opposite phenomenom applies. That’s the tricky thing that trips up many a Development Director… the outcomes are pretty tangible and easy to measure. Unfortunately most don’t have an organized plan with specific outcome objectives in place, so success or failure becomes a subjective determination.

I would argue that in the case of development, non-profit leaders need to focus more on measuring and monitoring process than results. Don’t get me wrong–results matter. But good outcomes are driven by good activities consistently applied. There is no magic formula. Uncountable numbers of factors–some known and some unknown–can have a dramatic effect on fund-raising revenues. But if your development staff are doing the right things day in and day out then the likelihood of successful outcomes–i.e. raising more money–will be greatly enhanced. On the other hand, if they are consistently doing the right things and not getting good outcomes then you need to take a good hard look at other factors related to your donor base and your programs and organization.

So what are those “right things” that a Development Director should be doing? What are the “good activities” that will drive “good outcomes”? This white paper discusses ten things that every Development Director should be asking him or herself every week to stay on the road to success.

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