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Development Audits – Successfully measuring your fundraising capacity

How can a nonprofit successfully measure its fundraising abilities and help secure funding?  By using a development audit as a barometer.  It is an internal review of what your development department is doing and invites an opportunity to evaluate your development functions. It provides you with a fresh look at your department processes and functions. 

An audit can also help you confirm the philanthropic focus of your nonprofit by seeing how board, staff, and overall operations are helping solidify that intention. An audit determines your organization’s feasibility to grow, launch a capital campaign, or begin your strategic planning process.

The development audit helps you move your mission forward.

The basic premise of an audit is to work with someone who is not on staff in order to provide an objective point of view on the status of your development department workings. The consultant reviews your foundational documents and policies, examines your promotional materials, explores external views of your organization and interviews key stakeholders to gather both an internal and external view of your organization and its impact. Ultimately, this process prompts internal conversations about how to best streamline and improve your fundraising infrastructure. The final report includes a clear development plan with goals, tactics, identification of the responsible party and a timeline for implementation.

Using both quantitative and qualitative findings can help an organization develop benchmarks for improved fundraising capacity. Some of the areas an audit covers can include the following:

  • Do we have sufficient staff to support the financial goals?
  • Are we performing at the best of our ability?
  • What tools and resources are missing?
  • What are we missing?
  • What are we very good at?

The development audit helps you move your mission forward. It offers you the opportunity to evaluate the following cornerstone issues:

  1. Your nonprofit’s purpose.
  2. Creating solid planning.
  3. Understanding your donors.
  4. Leadership opportunities.
  5. Effective brand awareness.
  6. Efficient operations.
  7. Leveraging volunteer engagement.
  8. Strong systems development.

The development audit succinctly connects the dots between where the holes are and what opportunities are available. With this knowledge, you can thoughtfully and strategically build rock solid fundraising infrastructure so you can provide the community you serve the services they need.


Posted in Fundraising.