UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising

The newly released 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.

Download the full report (PDF).


UnderDeveloped Action Guide Coming Soon! 

We just concluded our 3-part national webinar series based on UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising. This special web series was a unique opportunity for a sector-wide conversation about systemic fundraising challenges and why they remain entrenched. We looked at the root causes of chronically under-developed fundraising capacity among nonprofits from three perspectives – nonprofit leaders, consultants and capacity builders, and funders.  Drawing from these conversations CompassPoint will be developing an action guide which will be shared with all webinar participants and the field at large.


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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