This week on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol.
Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Those taking the survey included very small organizations to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Shockingly, the median organizational score on the Leaky Bucket Assessment was a C-minus.
To find out how organizations be more effective at fundraising, our conversation focused on three important factors for fundraising:
Hiring and supporting dedicated fundraising staff is one of the key indicators for fundraising success. Bristol notes that organizations with no dedicated fundraising staff only meet their fundraising objectives 39% of the time. For this reason, we discussed:
In addition to using paid staff, the organizations that are most successful at fundraising also utilize volunteers. In our conversation, Bristol recommended providing volunteers:
We finished the conversation with a summary of the four laws of performance management, and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get these golden gems!
Ellen Bristol reminded listeners that their organization can take the Leaky Bucket Assessment by visiting http://www.bristolstrategygroup.com/resources/the-leaky-bucket-for-nonprofit-fundraising. When taking the Leaky Bucket Assessment, your organization will be able to compare your fundraising to global averages and get an hour of private review with Bristol or another facilitator.
Links for Bristol Strategy Group:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BristolStrategyGroup
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenbristol
Phone number: 305-935-6676
Buy the “The Leaky Bucket: What’s wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it” on Amazon.
Our world has changed dramatically. The morning of election day, the New York Times predicted Hillary Clinton had a 90% chance of winning, but Donald Trump won the Presidential election at the end of the night.
Many of us woke up the morning after the election to an unexpected outcome and wondered, “How will this impact my family, my city, and my state”. For those of us leading and advising nonprofit organizations, we undoubtedly also wondered “what will this mean for my organization”?
For this reason, I reached out to my alma mater: the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, which is known for bringing the lenses of public policy, social work, criminology and economics into focus. Since they have the premiere public policy program in the region, I knew they could offer an expert to help us make sense of the new realities nonprofits might face.
Within hours, the Dean had connected me with Associate Professor Janelle Kerlin. Her research focuses on the politics and policies related to nonprofit development and operation. Dr. Kerlin holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a graduate social work degree from Columbia, and was a Research Associate at the Urban Institute.
Our interview covers the following:
Grateful thanks to the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University for arranging this interview.
Book: A Voice for Nonprofits by Jeffery Berry
We spoke with nonprofit consultant Eleanor Boyd this week about the first two stages of the nonprofit lifecycle: infancy and adolescence. We discussed not just the key characteristics of infant (or start-up) organizations, but also the strategic steps organizations can take to transform themselves into more stable adolescent organizations.
This is a "must listen" for any start up organization wanting to get to the next level.
Boyd also shared some excellent resources for small nonprofits who cannot afford to hire a consultant. Specifically, she recommended finding your statewide nonprofit association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and several additional online resources:
You can contact Eleanor Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Bill Lutz started as the Executive Director of an outreach ministry called The New Path, he brought a strong management and leadership background to a traditional ministry. Within six months of accepting the position, he learned that he often did not learn about an issue until it was a “full fledged disaster or catastrophe mode.”
For this reason, he created and implemented a quarterly “Pulse Survey” to measure the three key organizational indicators:
The survey is sent every three months to staff, board, volunteers, partners, and other key constituents. Started in 2015, they have sent the survey for five quarters.
The first survey resulted in a strong response – noting both issues to work on and strengths to celebrate. During the first few quarters, the survey indicated low numbers on “strategy”. And this provided data to help the board understand the importance of allocating funds to hire a strategic planning consultant and completing a strategic planning process.
Our conversation also included:
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