February 2014: Why You Should Do a Development Audit

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

What is the current condition of your fundraising efforts? What are their strengths and challenges? What can you do to make them more productive?

These are just some of the questions addressed in a development audit–something that Tom Reid suggests organizations consider as they start the new year.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • Lucien Roy and Greg Cascione represented The Reid Group at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ Assembly in Washington D.C. in early February. One highlight of the meeting was the distribution of the latest in the pamphlet series, “Strengthening Catholic Identity,” which is being co-produced by The Reid Group and ACCU.
  • Join us for the next Reid Group teleseminar on February 19, “The Value of a Development Audit.” See below for further details and a link to register.
  • The Reid Group work with the Archdiocese of New York and it’s 368 parishes is moving forward very well. Suggestions from the 75 Clusters will be coming in March 1 and preliminary recommendations from the Archdiocesan Advisory Group are due in early April. The Cardinal intends to announce his final decisions in September 2014 with implementation to begin in 2015.
  • Tom Reid and Maureen Gallagher continued their work with Parish Restructuring in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.  They worked with the Planning Commission to develop Final Recommendations to Archbishop Tobin for the four Indianapolis deaneries.  They also assisted the Commission to give supportive responses to Implementation plans for three Batesville Deanery cohorts.
  • The planning process for parishes and schools in the Topeka Region of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is proceeding, despite weather delays. A Catholic school summit meeting for parents, teachers and administrators in Topeka will be held on March 4 and parish Cluster training will take place on March 6.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

We are pleased to announce the next in The Reid Group teleseminar series.

You are invited to attend the next in our Reid Group teleseminar series:

Date: February 19, 2014
Time:  2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, 5 pm ET
Topic:  The Value of a Development Audit

The call will be co-hosted by Tom Reid and Maureen Gallagher, Senior Consultants with The Reid Group.

We created the Sustainable Future Audit tool to help leaders discern the precise nature and scope of their challenges so they can address them in a comprehensive way.

During this teleseminar, important information and practical suggestions will be presented for reviewing the development operation for your organization. In addition, the conversation will also offer tips for engaging your colleagues in constructive conversation leading to a more effective fundraising program.

Space is limited so:
Register Now!

Feature Focus

The Value of a Development Audit

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

As we launch into a new year, it’s a good time to take stock of what you want to accomplish in 2014 and how you are going to get there. For many organizations, the best use of this time is to assess the status of your fund development operation by conducting a development audit.

A development audit is an assessment of your fundraising operations, looking at human resources (staff, Board and volunteer involvement), fundraising systems (databases, software) and communication with donors and prospects. In order to be most useful, a development audit needs to involve all aspects of your development program:

Organizational leadership
Does your leader have a compelling vision and is it shared widely? Does he/she embrace their role as Chief Fund Raiser, regardless of their official title?

Operation of the development office
Do you have enough people to run the operation? Are they paid or volunteer positions? Does the development function have adequate financial resources? Is your organization’s leader involved directly in fundraising?

Strategic plan for development
Is your development plan comprehensive? What are its elements (Annual Fund, Major Gifts, Planned Giving)? Has this plan been approved by your Board? Do you have a written Case Statement that delineates the rationale for donor support?

Role of the Board
Does the Board have an explicit role in fundraising? Do Board members support your organization personally? Is there a development committee of the Board?

Technology systems
How updated  is your database? Do your fundraising hardware and software systems need upgrading?  Are reports easy to understand and generated in a timely fashion?

Donor analysis
Who are your current top 25 donors and what is their record of giving? When was the most recent contact? When is the next scheduled contact?

Solicitation plan
What methodology do you use for your Annual Fund solicitation? For Major Donors? How do you approach donors for your Planned Giving effort?

Outreach plan
What is your ongoing communication plan with current donors? How do you develop relationships with potential new donors?

Social Media
Does your organization have a presence on Facebook? Are staff members using Linked-In?

Whether you conduct the audit internally or hire a consultant to do it, you should expect a written report that explains the findings and recommends specific actions. Some examples include:

  • Increase the involvement of the organization’s director in fundraising.
  • Give more emphasis to Board guidelines and orientation about fundraising.
  • Have more regular communication with donors.
  • Strategies for donor retention
  • Make more solicitations through personal contact, supplemented by letters or e-mails.
  • Ensure financial transparency.

It’s hard to know where you’re going unless you have a clear picture of where you are. A development audit can give you that picture and set you on your way to reaching your goals for 2014 and beyond. Contact Greg (GCascione@thereidgroup.biz) or Tom (TReid@thereidgroup.biz) to schedule a free strategy session.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from Amazon.com.

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.
Kathy Johnson, Editor
Transforming Challenges
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