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The Fundraising System Health Assessment

The Fundraising System Health Assessment is designed to help users asses the strengths and weaknesses across the entire fundraising system, including People, Structures, Processes, and Data.  The health of each of these operational components will be assessed in relation to the three levels of accessing and applying information—Transactional, Management, and Strategic more… 

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If you are new to the Assessment, please review the definitions of frequently used terms:

Fundraising system: The work of staff and technology to collect, manipulate, and reference the data and information used to fundraise. The “system” includes the donor management software, but also all the related (and sometimes unrelated) activities that involve fundraising information. The Fundraising System is all the work of planning and structuring solicitations, and all the work of following up and managing solicitations once made. In other words, it is all the work that supports the solicitation (synonymous with Development Operations).

Tasks and processes: The “work” of fundraising systems/development operations. Common examples include: collecting data on constituents, donations and other engagement activities; capturing fundraising notes, research, or donor strategy; coding for communications and cultivation; creating system-generated communications; running e/mail lists; updating and reviewing work-prompts such as tasks or pledge reminders; generating reports and exports. All fundraising staff, regardless of role, are engaged in some tasks and processes.

Data: I have adopted the convention of referring to data as a singular concept (“data is”) rather than the plural of datum (“data are”).

Fundraising Performance: The amounts of Funds raised as well as the efficacy and efficiency of the fundraising system.

Strategic Decision-making: Determining the goals and strategies for a work product, a specific project, a component of the fundraising system, of the entire fundraising system, or of the organization’s fundraising strategy. Strategic decision making may be executed by staff in all positions within a fundraising team.

Data-based Decision: Decisions based on verifiable data, which requires high-quality data as well as effective analysis and interpretation.