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What’s the Value in Investing in Nonprofit Fundraising Capacity?

An Article in July 7, 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review by Paul Connolly lays some interesting news on the table:  Foundation investment via grants in strategic planning and related work pay bigger dividends than investment in directly building fundraising capacity

Here’s a quote:  Grantees that concentrated on improving fund development capacity reported inferior longer-term outcomes compared to those that focused on strategic planning, organizational learning, or leadership succession. They were not as likely to have met their grant objectives and described lower levels of sustainability of their grant results, as well as less impact on program services.

For many of us who consult with nonprofits on fundraising capacity, this rings true.  I find from my experience that nonprofit organizations which haven’t yet set their strategic direction, frequently struggle with fundraising in part because the mission isn’t in proper focus.

I encourage State-wide nonprofit associations to consider investing in a study of members along the lines of this Packard Foundation study conducted by the TCC Group.  Learning how to most effectively guide and advise the work of nonprofits is a priority for us all.  Let’s learn what the data tells us.

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