The Mikuska Group  

Culture of engagement – part 4

Fourth in a series about the culture of engagement. Today – the development budget.

Many organizations view the development budget as an expense, and proudly report to donors and others that they have the lowest cost per dollar raised. In my experience, this measurement is a false economy and an disingenuous use of numbers.

The development budget should be viewed as an investment. It should be scrupulously managed to maximize the return on that investment. But senior managers and boards should not shy away from spending money. Not putting funds toward fundraising programs, especially major gift programs, usually means a lot of money being left on the table. If you can’t reach donors or steward their gifts properly or communicate the impact of their donations, you haven’t invested enough in your program.

Fundraising is a long-term endeavour, and a successful organization ensures it is underpinned by a solid development office infrastructure, professional development, and marketing and communications support.

Julie Mikuska.


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