The Development Assessment Study
Alexander Haas is dedicated to helping organizations throughout the nonprofit world build strong advancement programs to meet both immediate and long-term objectives. A Development Assessment Study is often the first important step in the preparation for a major fundraising campaign as well as other challenges, such as new leadership, a changing organization, changing technology or reaching a fundraising plateau. This “audit” will provide you with an objective analysis of your internal readiness to meet such challenges.
What will we do for you?
- Conduct a series (usually ten to 15) of interviews with key personnel within the development area and, if appropriate, key volunteers.
- Examine selected documents of your fundraising program, such as campaign plans and yearly giving comparisons.
- Analyze the records and research process, including prospect tracking, gift-recording procedures and prospect-research activities.
- Evaluate the organizational structure and personnel resources for maximum fundraising effectiveness.
- Assess the attitudes, morale, and communication flow related to development within the staff and with volunteers.
- Evaluate the marketing efforts of institutional advancement, including publications/printed materials and direct marketing efforts (telephone, direct mail, person-to-person marketing) as well as your email appeals and online giving.
- Perform an online influence audit to provide an overview of your organization’s current strengths and weaknesses in organic search and reach and engagement in social media.
- Examine past fundraising effectiveness in each of the major areas (planned, capital, annual, special) and the recognition and support programs associated with each area.
- Address other issues that inevitably surface during the study process.
- Prepare and present a report of your fundraising strengths and weaknesses along with specific recommendations for capitalizing on those strengths, addressing the weaknesses and specific “next steps” to best meet your objectives.
Who will work with YOU?
One of our consultants will be directly involved as your Study Director to conduct the interviews, research your background materials and information, and analyze your unique situation. The report and recommendations will be reviewed by the principals of the firm, assuring you of their collective experience and insights.
What’s the main benefit for you?
An outside, objective analysis of your organization’s fund-raising strengths and weaknesses is valuable. But such a document, valuable as it is, is merely a list. Therefore, we focus on specific recommendations to overcome your operation’s weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths. These recommendations provide you with an outline for an immediate and long-range plan of action — and the most effective strategies for success for your institution. We are proud to report that the majority of our clients have put our study recommendations into immediate action—for immediate results.