What are some of the essential elements of fundraising that EDs should be familiar with to find success? Let’s shed light on the division of responsibilities within nonprofit organizations when it comes to development efforts:
A traditional analysis looks at inputs like fundraising expenses and operational costs and outputs like the number of people served and geographic area covered. The goal is basically to understand how the organization is using its funds to do something beneficial. This approach works if the output is something with a clear monetary value like scholarships granted or number of meals served. However, that approach seems to fall short when attempting to measure the “unquantifiable” impact a nonprofit has on its community – things like reducing isolation, giving community members a voice, offering mentorship, preventing violence, providing acceptance for marginalized groups, or reducing homelessness. Therefore, a true analysis of a nonprofit’s impact needs to include an evaluation of their Social Return on Investment (SROI) also.
This can be an incredibly difficult question to answer!
Anyone in the nonprofit space can give you examples of wonderful collaborations they have been a part of where the outcome was far greater than either organization could have achieved on its own. These collaborative wins are fuel for high impact nonprofit missions – the veritable magic that can make 1+1=3 …or 4 …more.
And yet, anyone involved with nonprofit work can also give you examples of when collaboration was an organizational killer – the precipitating factor that derailed an organization’s mission, culture, or effectiveness. Collaborating on the wrong projects or executing collaborative efforts poorly can result in mission creep, stretching an organization too thin and diluting their impact.
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