Fundraising Strategy Reviews & Development Audits

There will come a time when your existing fundraising strategy (if you have one at all) will need to be reviewed - and there are many good reasons for doing this.

Why review your fundraising strategy?

There will come a time when your existing fundraising strategy (if you have one at all) will need to be reviewed - and there are many good reasons for doing this.

  • Income from your traditional fundraising methods may be falling.
  • Your organisation could be in the process of developing an over-arching business plan and, as a result, will need to generate additional voluntary income.
  • Your organisation might want to develop new programmes or expand its existing activities.
  • You may be aware that existing income streams could be reduced or even withdrawn altogether.
  • You might have been advised that a major contributor will be withdrawing support in the near future.
  • Your organisation has new leadership at board or senior management level.
  • Your “competitors” appear to be fundraising more effectively than you are.
  • Your fundraising strategy has not been reviewed for a few years (if ever).
  • Donor retention is in decline.
  • Your Director of Fundraising has left.

Who should review your strategy?

Before a review takes place, you need to consider whether it can be effectively conducted by someone within your organisation or whether your ambitions would be better served by appointing someone independent to conduct this important task.

Going down the in-house route will almost certainly be the cheaper option, but it may not be possible to find the right person.  It’s also worth remembering that one of the primary reasons for conducting a review may be to evaluate the performance of the existing fundraising team. With this in mind, it’s more common for organisations to engage a fundraising consultancy to conduct the review and ensure that the outcome is a genuinely unbiased and honest assessment of the state-of-play.

Our clients choose to engage us as independent experts for the following reasons;

  • We bring an objective point of view and tackle difficult issues without becoming embroiled in internal politics.
  • External prospects, donors and other stakeholders will often speak more openly with us as we are one step removed from your day-to-day activities and can provide a channel for unambiguous feedback.
  • We are highly experienced and bring new perspectives and knowledge of what works and what isn’t likely to succeed. We focus on the task outlined in the brief and can benchmark your activity against other comparable institutions.
  • We offer impartiality and credibility that can be usefully employed to deliver difficult messages to people.

The chances are that whatever your current challenge is, as experienced consultants we will have seen it before and will be equipped to offer clear pathways to solutions that work.

Strategic review and development audit

Clients often come to us with a specific request for help in conducting a thorough audit of their fundraising activities. Marylebone Cricket Club, for example – owners of Lord’s Cricket Ground and the most celebrated club in the world - engaged Gifted to conduct a thorough review of the fundraising operations of its charitable arm, the MCC Foundation. Through an extensive schedule of confidential interviews with key stakeholders and detailed examination of its fundraising mechanisms and performance, we were able to provide a series of important and objective recommendations for changes to the way that the Foundation operated and how MCC could play a more significant part in its success. This was followed by the production of a strategic plan. Since our involvement there have been some significant changes at the Foundation and there are clear signs of a successful fundraising future for the charity.

"Gaining a clear understanding of our Members’ opinions was essential to developing a fundraising strategy that could guide the future of the MCC Foundation. Gifted was able to bring a professional, independent eye to the state of play and enable us to take our next fundraising steps with confidence. We have been delighted with the progress that we have made already." 
Gerald Corbett, Chairman, MCC