A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

What's in this Report? 

The study UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that many nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed. A joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the report found high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in development director positions throughout the sector. More significantly, the study reveals deeper issues that contribute to instability in the development director role, including a lack of basic fundraising systems and inadequate attention to fund development among key board and staff leaders.

Beyond UnderDeveloped:
What's Next? 

Fundraising Bright Spots

Prompted by the widespread fundraising challenges identified in UnderDeveloped, the Haas, Jr. Fund convened a Resetting Development work group focused on highlighting potential solutions to chronic fundraising challenges.

Read Fundraising Bright Spots here. > 

UnderDeveloped: Key Findings

The report is organized around three main challenges and concludes with a set of recommendations to jumpstart a national conversation about how we can all help nonprofits take their fund development to the next level.

  • REVOLVING DOOR - Organizations are struggling with high turnover and long vacancies in the development director position.
  • HELP WANTED - Organizations aren’t finding enough qualified candidates for development director jobs. Executives also report performance problems and a lack of basic fundraising skills among key development staff.
  • IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN ONE PERSON - Beyond creating a development director position and hiring someone who is qualified for the job, organizations and their leaders need to build the capacity, the systems, and the culture to support fundraising success. The findings indicate that many nonprofits aren’t doing this.
  • BREAKING THE CYCLE - UnderDeveloped offers urgent calls to action for the nonprofit sector, citing key steps that nonprofit executives, funders, and sector leaders should consider as they set out to address the challenges detailed in the report.

Additional Resources



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