At the AFP International Conference earlier this week, Wendy and I spoke to a development director of a retirement community who is trying to raise $9 million for a new facility. Her board discussed doing a campaign planning study and then decided that instead of contracting with an outside firm, they would have their development director conduct the interviews and pull together some sort of findings.
This struck us as a profound statement about the board’s shortsightedness. To get an accurate picture about an organization’s fundraising readiness and how much money could be raised, all interviews of potential donors, philanthropists, community leaders, and board members need to be confidential. Then the data gathered must be analyzed objectively.
It’s unlikely that someone inside of the organization would be able to gather objective information from interviewees and then prepare a thoughtful, detailed analysis, along with doing her regular job. All I have to say is bless that poor development director’s heart!