As a nonprofit organization, you know that successful and effective fundraising is essential to your organization succeeding in its mission. While your current methods of fundraising, including marketing your events, reaching your target audience, and the “behind the scenes” operations, may seem successful, it’s also important to look at how you can improve, especially if your organization has been relying on the same methods for several years. Our nonprofit accounting software consulting firm is sharing how investing in a fundraising assessment, also called a fundraising audit, can help you uncover and clear obstacles and increase your reach and revenue so your organization can reach its full potential in meeting its mission.
What Is a Fundraising Assessment?
A fundraising assessment is an audit of the organization’s fundraising efforts that are performed by a third party or outside consultant. The goal is to look at the status of current fundraising strategies and methods, identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, and provide feedback on where and how to improve.
Generally, a CPA or financial consultant with experience in the nonprofit sector will perform the audit because they have both the financial knowledge and experience to look at how sustainable current fundraising methods are as well as issues such as accounting and record keeping. This allows them to see where there may be opportunities from an organizational or operational standpoint as well as issues related directly to fundraising, such as types of fundraisers and marketing.
What Is Assessed?
- Donor acquisition during fundraising drives
- Donor retention from one fundraiser to the next
- How you reach prospective donors
- The costs of fundraisers, including marketing, supplies, venue hosting, etc.
- Your current goals, including revenue goals and donor goals
- Your budget and projected expenses and projected revenue
- Current fundraising channels (direct mail, phone banks, events, social media) and where there are opportunities
- Current fundraising sources (individuals, large donors, foundations, and grants) and where there are opportunities
- Resources to support your fundraising and fund accounting
By auditing these specific aspects of your fundraisers, the assessor is able to determine the health of your organization, and how to make both short-term improvements as well as long-term improvements.
What Nonprofits Need a Fundraising Assessment?
All nonprofit organizations can benefit from a fundraising assessment. By knowing what is working and where you’re losing ground, you have a clear opportunity to make informed changes that will positively impact your organization.
For example, your concern is that your large annual fundraising event isn’t bringing in significant revenue for your organization. However, an assessment shows that the event brings in a large amount, but the costs to host the event are too significant to make it worthwhile in its current state. Rather than not hosting the annual event, which would have been your initial reaction, you can look at ways to reduce costs, such as by finding a less expensive venue or relying on more volunteers and donations instead of paid workers and services.
What Happens After a Fundraising Audit?
Once the auditor completes the comprehensive assessment, they are able to provide you with an in-depth report of their findings. While some may sit down with you and help create a strategy to improve your fundraising, others may simply provide you with the report. At Capital Business Solutions, we provide a more hands-on approach to help our clients make the best decisions to improve the financial health of their organization.
Regardless, you’ll have an opportunity to create an action plan with the leaders or board members of the nonprofit on how you can change or diversify fundraising, cultivate donors, and manage your fundraisers to make them more effective.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss if a Fundraising Assessment Is Right for You
At Capital Business Solutions, we are dedicated to helping nonprofits succeed by helping them modernize operations, leverage software solutions, and clear obstacles. Learn how a customized fundraising audit with our experienced team can help you move into a greater level of success by giving us a call at (843) 971-9061 or filling out the form below to get started.