To determine what techniques and resources you currently have at your disposal and how effective these are, the first thing to do is to undertake a thorough fundraising audit. This should list all the fundraising activities the organisation is now undretaking and critically appraise them, who is responsible, how much is invested and how much earned?
Comparative figures going back a few years will be essential in order to see if these activities are declining or improving and to make a projection forward. These extrapolations customarily assume that current trends continue unless there are good reasons to think otherwise. To check for such good reasons, it is necessary to look at the external environment as well as your organisation’s internal operation.
Check the likely changes that may affect your organisation and its fundraising with regard to social, technological, economic, environmental and political factors – a STEEP analysis. You may find that investment in fundraising could be better deployed over the whole range of techniques to give a higher return on investment (ROI) but remember that some techniques can add synergy to your efforts. For example, national press advertising helps to build profile and trading often helps local groups to create a feeling of belonging. These latter points are often hotly debated and you will need to form a view perhaps based partly on discussions with supporters. Is ROI everything?