Advancement Operations is the backbone of fundraising and critical to the sustainability of nonprofits. Evolving practices are being driven by advanced data analytics, robust customer relationship management systems (CRMs), access to big data and the necessity for digital strategies. The result is an increasingly complex field of work that requires systems and processes – and the advancement professionals using them – function together in a highly efficient and highly reliable manner.
We have consultants who specialize in assessing every component of Advancement Operations. They are subject matter experts who have both managed complex operations as well as spent years in the consulting field.
Our Advancement Operations Assessment discovers issues that are impeding best outcomes, and we provide concise recommendations on the adjustments that are necessary. We believe that we are successful when we leave our clients stronger and exceptionally prepared for the future. And we view assessments also as teaching opportunities that we can use to enhance the staff’s professional knowledge and practical skills.
Each institution has distinct challenges, so each assessment is tailored to the circumstances facing our client. Components of our Advancement Operations Assessment include the following.
- Prospect Research
- Prospect Management
- Campaign management
- Donor Relations
- Data Management
- Information Systems
- Project management
- Training – Advancement systems
- Professional Development
- Human Resources
- Digital Strategies
- Process Improvement
Our Annual Giving Assessment yields a deep understanding of your organization’s strengths, as well as opportunities for growth, within each of these seven key elements. This close examination of your annual giving approaches and strategies results in a clear framework that positions your program to meet your institution’s ambitious goals while ensuring you have a sustainable model in place for long-term success.
Our approach examines both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of your program.
We review a variety of materials that describe current practices, results and resources for annual giving. In addition, we conduct interviews with Annual Giving and Development staff to better understand job responsibilities, organizational structure, donor acquisition, retention, engagement strategies, policies and procedures for fundraising and any underlying issues interviewees may wish to discuss. We design the interviews to gather valuable insights and generate strategic conversations about vision, impact and purpose.
By looking at historic giving and engagement behaviors of all alumni – segmented by vehicle, size, loyalty, demographic, engagement and related fundraising activities – our analysis helps uncover the precise areas of growth, decline and/or stagnation in alumni donors over a five-year to 10-year period.
At the conclusion of our assessment, we provide a thorough Annual Fund Strategy Report that summarizes our findings and overarching recommendations, accompanied by a detailed diagnostic assessment of your organization’s annual fund and concrete action items for moving forward. We deliver a plan that is aligned with resources, benchmarks and the support you need to be successful.
Dynamic fundraising strategies and inclusive planning processes are key to success. We provide our clients with advice that focuses first on the development of the fundraising strategy, and then on the most effective ways to implement the plan.
Strategic fundraising plans are living documents. They define overarching goals, strategies and courses of action that must be monitored closely and revised with shifting conditions. Unified by bold but realistic visions and supported by core principles that guide decision-making, strong plans include focused, integrated strategies to achieve desired results. A fully integrated fundraising plan provides not only a textured vision, but also a detailed framework that identifies specified benchmarks and measurement criteria.
Marts & Lundy’s approach to planning fundraising strategies helps our clients to:
- Continuously measure progress against goals and objectives
- Create a stronger brand signature through a growing evidence and story pool that creates opportunities to communicate and spotlight achievements
- Encourage members of the administrative and key staff and volunteers to “own” their individual pieces of the plan
- Ensure that close friends will become more engaged in the goals and aspirations of the institution and, therefore, more inclined to partner with the leadership to realize those goals
Governance & Leadership
Strong leadership is an accomplishment, not a gift. Poor governance or ineffective leadership can lead to institutional dysfunction and even paralysis. Marts & Lundy brings an objective, dispassionate perspective to governance and leadership matters, while offering advice and recommendations on how to govern and lead an institution in a strategic, ethical and humane manner.
Marts & Lundy consultants work in partnerships with presidents, trustees and senior administrators to help organizations respond to the challenges they face. As a firm, we know what has worked well in the past but, more important, we know what is working well today and we can help you plan for a successful future.
Specific services offerings include:
Strategy Development: Helping boards and leadership to identify the most desirable outcomes and the strategies for achieving them.
Board Assessment: Critically reviewing board policies and practices concerning board membership, member orientation process, committee structure and effectiveness.
Board Self Development: Helping senior leadership to recruit and develop a stable board with the abilities to govern strategically and develop the resources needed to advance the institution.
Leadership Assessment: Critically reviewing the interactions amongst institutional leaders including trustees/directors, chief executive officers and chief financial officers.
Philanthropic Advising: Designing workshops to help your institutional leaders understand the culture of philanthropy and provide staff and volunteers with the necessary tools to raise funds successfully.