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Funding Operations Perceptions and Impact

2a2b9e0b325fa02d343f4ba848398f34?s=47 Chris Cannon
August 28, 2013

Funding Operations Perceptions and Impact

2a2b9e0b325fa02d343f4ba848398f34?s=128

Chris Cannon

August 28, 2013
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  1. Bentz Whaley Flessner 0 © Copyright 2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner

    Industry Perceptions About Operations Support and Strategy August 2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner
  2. Bentz Whaley Flessner 1 Bentz Whaley Flessner conducted a survey

    of industry contacts to ascertain their views on advancement operations support and strategy. Invitations to participate in an online survey were sent to 7,156 individuals, with 334 completing the survey. A similar study conducted by BWF’s Chris Cannon in 2011 found that executives and fundraisers with portfolios vary significantly in their confidence in operations compared to operations professionals. This 2013 study aimed to explore the durability and direction of this pattern. Summary Invitations Completes Completion % 7,156 334 5%
  3. Bentz Whaley Flessner 2 The 2011 study asked participants if

    they were 80% confident in the operational fundamentals: data, reporting, technology, processes, and people. The results showed that executives were less confident than those maintaining the operations. Summary Source: Cannon’s “An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations” (Wiley 2011).
  4. Bentz Whaley Flessner 3 Bentz Whaley Flessner 3 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Summary This 2013 survey found some similar differences between the perceptions of operations professionals and fundraisers. Here is the summary of the findings: Survey Participant Breakdown  The majority, almost 80%, of participants are from higher education.  68% maintain a prospect portfolio, while 32% of respondents do not. Of those that maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors:  Almost half reported they are very satisfied with the operations people.  Over 30% reported dissatisfaction with technology.  Over 25% reported operations is not involved with program evaluation. Of those that do not maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors:  Over 45% reported they are very confident in operations processes.  13% reported they are only somewhat confident in technology.  Over 30% reported they were not involved in strategic decisions.
  5. Bentz Whaley Flessner 4 Bentz Whaley Flessner 4 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner The Diagnosis  Executives, program leaders, and frontline fundraisers perceive the same situation in different ways compared to operations professionals.  The gap between the groups, and often between perception and reality, make partnerships more challenging.  How do we know? The data from a survey of hundreds of executives and operations professionals.
  6. Bentz Whaley Flessner 5 Bentz Whaley Flessner 5 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner The Diagnosis: Gaps between Perception and Reality  Much of the subjective data available on the topic show that managing perception is critical to narrowing the gaps between different groups.  For example, this grid depicts why and when a given organization should likely be concerned about its operational effectiveness.  99% accuracy is typically quite good, but not always good enough with board records.  Conversely, an errant receipt or some bad addresses should not diminish one’s impression about operational effectiveness. Source: Cannon’s “An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations” (Wiley 2011).
  7. Bentz Whaley Flessner 6 Bentz Whaley Flessner 6 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner One Treatment: Re-gain Real and/or Perceived Balance with Process Accuracy and Speed vis- à-vis the Total Volume being Handled Goal: Partners perceive operations as “spinning like a top.” Source: Cannon’s “An Executive’s Guide to Fundraising Operations” (Wiley 2011).
  8. Bentz Whaley Flessner 7 Bentz Whaley Flessner 7 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner What helps treat the diagnosis? 1) Communication: If you manage the process, share details about overall effectiveness. If you see a flaw, bring it to light, but reserve judgment. 2) Trust: Train and trust your colleagues to do their jobs to improve accuracy, speed, and volume. 3) Quality: Devise and report on metrics that will ensure your team is hitting expectations and delivering quality results. 4) Shared definitions: Ensure that everyone can define key terms so that perceived problems are not in fact simple definitional differences. 5) BPI: Where there are problems, implement a business process improvement plan to align resources to results.
  9. Bentz Whaley Flessner 8 Survey Results

  10. Bentz Whaley Flessner 9 Bentz Whaley Flessner 9 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q1. What industry are you in? 1.7% 1.0% 2.7% 13.4% 77.9% 1.0% 2.3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Arts and Culture Community and Social Services Environment and Conservation Healthcare Higher Education Religion Other (please specify)
  11. Bentz Whaley Flessner 10 Bentz Whaley Flessner 10 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q2. How large is your development/ advancement team? 14% 24% 20% 19% 23% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 0–9 10–24 25–49 50–99 100+
  12. Bentz Whaley Flessner 11 Bentz Whaley Flessner 11 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q3. Do you maintain a portfolio of prospects/ donors (individuals or organizations)? Yes 68% No 32%
  13. Bentz Whaley Flessner 12 Of those that maintain a portfolio

    of prospects/donors:
  14. Bentz Whaley Flessner 13 Bentz Whaley Flessner 13 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q4. How satisfied are you in operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following areas? Note: Total may not be 100% due to rounding. 33% 30% 20% 23% 49% 54% 45% 47% 40% 39% 10% 16% 21% 24% 10% 4% 8% 11% 13% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Processes (gift processing, prospect management, etc.) Data (name, contact information, etc.) Reporting (request process, data available, turnaround time, etc.) Technology (database, access options, speed of use, etc.) People Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Dissatisfied  The majority of respondents to this question reported being somewhat or very satisfied with operations.  The highest satisfaction level was for people, with 49% reporting being “very satisfied.”  Over 35% reported dissatisfaction with technology. 24% stated they were “somewhat dissatisfied,” and 13% stated they were “dissatisfied.”
  15. Bentz Whaley Flessner 14 Bentz Whaley Flessner 14 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q5. How much do you involve operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following processes? Note: Total may not be 100% due to rounding. 32% 26% 22% 48% 43% 52% 11% 17% 16% 6% 9% 6% 3% 4% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Long-term planning Program evaluation Strategic decisions They are very involved. They are somewhat involved. They are somewhat not involved. They are not involved. N/A  Most respondents to this question reported that operations is somewhat involved in long-term planning, program evaluation, and strategic decisions.  Over 25% of respondents reported that operations is not involved with program evaluation, with 9% stating they are not involved, and 17% stating they are somewhat not involved.
  16. Bentz Whaley Flessner 15 Of those that do not maintain

    a portfolio of prospects/donors:
  17. Bentz Whaley Flessner 16 Bentz Whaley Flessner 16 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q4. How confident are you in the following areas? Note: Total may not be 100% due to rounding. 47% 44% 45% 41% 46% 46% 48% 37% 42% 45% 3% 5% 14% 13% 5% 1% 1% 3% 3% 2% 1% 1% 1% 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Processes (gift processing, prospect management, etc.) Data (name, contact information, etc.) Reporting (request process, data available, turnaround time, etc.) Technology (database, access options, speed of use, etc.) People Very confident Somewhat confident Somewhat not confident Not confident N/A  Most respondents reported confidence in processes, data, reporting, technology, and people.  Over 45% reported they are “very confident” in the processes.  The largest lack of confidence ratings were reported for reporting and technology, with 14% “somewhat not confident” about reporting, and 13% “somewhat not confident” about technology.
  18. Bentz Whaley Flessner 17 Bentz Whaley Flessner 17 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Q5. How involved are you in the following processes? Note: Total may not be 100% due to rounding. 29% 37% 37% 43% 38% 32% 13% 9% 21% 14% 14% 11% 1% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Long-term planning Program evaluation Strategic decisions Very involved Somewhat involved Somewhat not involved Not involved N/A  Most respondents to this question reported that they are somewhat involved in long-term planning, program evaluation, and strategic decisions.  Over 30% stated they are not involved in strategic decisions, with 21% stating they were “somewhat not involved,” and 11% stating they were “not involved.”
  19. Bentz Whaley Flessner 18 Bentz Whaley Flessner 18 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Open-Ended Question Responses Responses to the following open-ended questions are provided in Appendix A.  Q1. What industry are you in? (7 responses) Of those that maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors (organizations or individuals):  Q4. How satisfied are you in operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following areas? (10 responses)  Q5. How much do you involve operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following processes? (7 responses) Of those that do not maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors (organizations or individuals):  Q4. How confident are you in the following areas? (4 responses)  Q5. How involved are you in the following processes? (1 response)
  20. Bentz Whaley Flessner 19 Bentz Whaley Flessner 19 © Copyright

    2013 Bentz Whaley Flessner Conclusions  This study affirms the gap in confidence and satisfaction between operations professionals and those maintaining fundraising portfolios.  The most significant finding is the wide gap in “very confident” operations folks and “very satisfied” frontline fundraisers. A similar pattern is seen in the “very involved” responses for each group.  Operations professionals tended to be “very confident” much more frequently than fundraisers were “very satisfied.” They also believed they were much more involved in strategy and planning than their frontline colleagues indicated.  These results suggest that more discussion about, and better alignment of, operational efforts are needed. Thank you for your participation in this study. To discuss your operational alignment and effectiveness, contact BWF’s Chris Cannon at ccannon@bwf.com. 117114:MAM:cdc:081613.
  21. BENTZ WHALEY FLESSNER Bentz Whaley Flessner Industry Perceptions About Support

    and Strategy Survey Open-Ended Comments July 2013 Note: Unedited survey responses Q1. What industry are you in? (7 responses)  Academic Health Care Institution  Int'l Relief & Development  Public Policy  charitable foundation  K -12 Education philanthropy  non profit conservation  international relief and development Of those that maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors (organizations or individuals): Q4. How satisfied are you in operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following areas? (10 responses)  Most of the dissatisfaction that I feel can be attributed to understaffing. Our ratio of frontline fundraisers to back office employees is higher than ratios at similar institutions. Our IT department is also smaller than it needs to be in order to address our needs.  Most of the team is great, however, we have one older woman who is very negative and angry. In addition, she tends to complain about her co-workers to the supervisor, even stating falsified information.  Still not convinced our new data system and people are at 100% operating. I think maybe at 80 or 85%?  In the midst of installing new CRM (delayed) but with this hope for better data and technical processes.  Millennium outdated. In process of switching to newer database system.  Banner is outdated, clunky and won't allow me to build and/or maintain my own reports.
  22. Bentz Whaley Flessner Industry Perceptions Survey Page 2 BENTZ WHALEY

    FLESSNER  The information residing in RE can be extremely frustrating as those who have supervisor rights do not follow through when changing, adjusting or updating info. Fund and Appeals are disabled with no paper trail. Often a pledge is adjusted but not the pledge payments. Reporting becomes a nightmare as you can never be sure you are compiling the correct information.  Would have marked all of these Satisfied -- There's always room for improvement but I'm more satisfied than not.  I don't like Jenzabar. User un-friendly.  Need more people, but the two we have are wonderful. Q5. How much do you involve operations (advancement services, etc.) in the following processes? (7 responses)  The director of advancement services serves as a member of the division's leadership team.  We're starting to involve Advancement Services more and more, and it's better for the business.  They do what we tell them to do - we know what we want and how we want it.  I'm not sure I know these answers.  Not discussions I'm involved in.  People tend to continue to work in silos though we have had numerous meetings to discontinue this technique.  We utilize the research function in AS that is quite good. Of those that do not maintain a portfolio of prospects/donors (organizations or individuals): Q4. How confident are you in the following areas? (4 responses)  Real prospect management doesn't exist.  (Assuming that people means our internal operations).  I am less than confident about the data, but understand that it is an on-going battle to maintain information on thousands of records.  It would be more helpful if Development would forward BIO updates to Records team to keep DB current. Q5. How involved are you in the following processes? (1 response)  (annual fund) 117113:MAM:jlc.