Study: Major Flaws Impair Fundraising

Many nonprofits are caught in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise funds, according to UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising.

The recent study, a joint project of service provider CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, surveyed 2,700 executive directors and development directors. It found that fundraising weaknesses include a lack of qualified candidates for the development director position as well as high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in that job. The study also reveals deeper problems at many nonprofits, including the lack of basic fundraising systems and inadequate attention paid to fund development by key board and staff leaders.

Suggested “calls to action” that might break the cycle include embracing fund development across the nonprofit sector and elevating the field of fundraising — that is, turning it into a “respected and rewarding career.” For more information on the study, see CompassPoint.org.