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Program Relevancy to Achieve Greater Success

Too often, fund-raising focuses on a specific event when it should be emphasizing the organization?s overall program. By avoiding the ?event trap,? you involve more of your constituents, engage local leaders more fully and increase the return on your investment of time and resources. The ultimate result is that your organization does more good for your community.

In our work advising fundraising efforts with communities around the country, Stellar Fundraising Executives have seen firsthand the benefits of embracing a comprehensive program that emphasizes economic development, community development, or both. These findings stem from our particular approach, which includes focusing on an organization?s relevancy to its community, gaining a sense of its strengths and weaknesses, conducting confidential interviews, as well as working to understand public perception of the organization, its leadership and its programs.

A key discovery is that many organizations still maintain programs that rely too heavily on parades, festivals, or networking events such as golf tournaments, receptions or business after hours.

There are many such events throughout the country that ? no matter how worthy ? require enormous amounts of resources. Often, they can?t provide the financial return and stakeholder support necessary to justify them. But many organizations proceed anyway, meanwhile failing to measure the actual return on investment for their events. Factor in staff and volunteer time and the ?profit? from an event actually may be a loss. Also problematic is that it is often only those who participate who perceive re...

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