Study: flaws in fundraising methods at many nonprofits

Posted on: January 23, 2013

Tuesday (1/22) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mike Boehm reports, “A new national survey of nonprofit executives suggests it isn’t just the uncertain economy that’s making it hard for charities—including arts and culture groups—to meet their fundraising goals. The research says there’s something fundamentally amiss with the way many of them go about courting donors. … Dubbed ‘Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising,’ the [CompassPoint] study says it’s the first systematic attempt to explore how chief fundraisers for nonprofits view their jobs—and how that dovetails or clashes with the expectations of the chief executives they work for. Arts, culture and humanities accounted for 11% of the 1,852 head fundraisers and 870 chief executives who responded to the 2012 survey, making it the second-largest sector. Human services was the largest sector, at 22%. A key finding is that half the chief fundraisers—or ‘development directors’ as they’re known in the nonprofit world—expect to leave their current jobs within two years due to an assortment of pressures … Ideally, the report says, organizations will develop a ‘culture of philanthropy’ in which ‘most people in the organization … act as ambassadors and engage in relationship-building’ with potential donors, ‘everyone promotes philanthropy and can articulate a case for giving.’ ”

Posted January 23, 2013