You have worked hard.
You have built a high performing development team that raises a lot of money.
When you move on, when you hear the siren call of another position, will the organization that you worked so hard to build survive your passing?
Is your development operation sustainable?
Over the last three years, Peter York, senior vice president of the tcc group, (www.tccgrp.com), has deployed an assessment tool within seven hundred not for profit organizations to determine what internal qualities make a not for profit organization sustainable.¬†
In short, his findings were illuminating:
1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Sustainable organizations have the resources to deliver essential programs.
Every development operation should maintain, at the very least, a strong and dedicated annual fund, major gift and data management capability.¬† Notice I used the word ‚Äúdedicated‚ÄĚ:¬† this term translates to having distinct¬† and qualified staff managing these areas.¬† Relying upon persons that have multiple responsibilities for the management of multiple programs is a recipe for organizational disaster.
2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sustainable organizations evidence ‚Äúreflective‚ÄĚ management (my words).
Every development operation should have a clear understanding of the performance metrics associated with each and every implemented program.¬† How do we know what to do if we do not clearly understand what does and does not work?¬† If our development programs and methodologies are informed by either routine or tradition, I can assure you that you are wasting money in implementation of your advancement programs.
3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sustainable organizations raise money well.
Duh, you may say.¬† Yet, development is not just a volume business.¬† You may raise a lot of money, but how, for example, are¬† your donor retention and acquisition efforts going?¬† ‚ÄúDevelopment‚ÄĚ is not a one trick pony and effective development organizations earn that title by performing well in a myriad of areas.
4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sustainable organizations are well led.
Every great leader has three things in common.¬† They can articulate a vision, they can get their management team to ‚Äúbuy into‚ÄĚ that vision and can articulate methodologies whereby that vision can be realized.¬† Creativity.¬† Collegiality. Focus.¬†¬†¬†
York‚Äôs complete study can be found at http://www.tccgrp.com/pdfs/EffectiveAdvocacy_final.pdf and I would recommend that you spend some time reviewing it.