Transforming Fundraising Performance in Tough Times

As many NGOs are adapting to a fast-changing external landscape, their fundraising leaders are under greater pressure than ever to deliver increasing returns from their investment. But what are their most urgent issues? And what are the critical success factors for a transformative fundraising strategy?

At Good Values’ first ‘Big Thinkers’ Round Table for NGO Fundraising Directors, twenty senior fundraising professionals came together to share their experiences and insights as they explored these questions.

Jo Swinhoe, Director of Fundraising & Marketing at Alzheimer’s Society, kicked off the evening by sharing the story of the Alzheimer’s Society’s fundraising growth – detailing their journey, some key principles and focus areas. Good Values then presented the findings from Fundraising Monitor (our recent annual survey of fundraising directors) and facilitated an open discussion.

The discussion confirmed the changing position of fundraising within many NGOs. Whilst fundraising is still sidelined within many organisations, there is a real sense that in a number of others, fundraising is being regarded as more central – and fundraising leaders are responsible for leading this change. Personal leadership is critical not only in team development – but also in helping to get buy-in and engagement from the rest of the organisation. Without this, fundraising will not achieve its full potential.

Another key area for discussion was the growing importance of impact measurement and the barriers and challenges being faced. Some innovative solutions were being developed as fundraising departments were working in partnership with, and even leading operational colleagues in creating tools to capture and demonstrate impact and value.

Finally, the discussion confirmed some of the other key areas that were critical for success – creating a cut-through case for support, investment and innovation.

The session finished with a challenge to participants to ‘score’ themselves and their own organisations on progress in delivering on these fundraising fundamentals.

This is only a short summary of the full discussion. If you would like to know more about this ‘Big Thinkers’ discussion or our Fundraising Monitor research findings, please contact us at

Our next NGO ‘Big Thinkers’ Round Table will be held at the RSA on July 25th 2011. If you would like to attend, and/or have any suggestions for future discussion topics please let us know.

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