6 ways your organization may be built to fail

Is the way your organization is set up throttling your ability to raise funds?

It’s a common problem, and changing it can yield quick and impressive improvements to revenue.

Here are some of the common structural problems, from the Veritus Group blog, at Why Your Back Office Is Losing You Money:

  1. Receipting and donor care are managed by people who really don’t understand … donors. If donor service is seen as a cost that needs to be kept as low as possible, things will not go well for your fundraising.
  2. Managers don’t provide proper administrative support to major gift officers. Your major donor people should be focused entirely on their donor portfolio, and little else.
  3. Data processing is run by … people with the primary purpose of keeping track of the budget, not the donor. Tracking donor behavior is what makes the budget happen. It needs close attention.
  4. Research is funded for programs, but not for donors. Being able to research donors pays off big time — when it’s done.
  5. No one is tasked to measure the impact of the organization’s programs, so the gift officer cannot really provide proof of performance to the donor. Donors need to know your programs are effective. You need to be gathering that information all the time.
  6. Fundraisers are tasked with other duties that have nothing to do with … giving. Chronic understaffing across many nonprofits keeps fundraisers spinning their wheels, just trying to keep up.

If you are suffering from any of these forms of office dysfunction, make it a priority to change them!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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