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Assessment & Benchmarking

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Management Checklist for Development
The CASE Management Checklist for Development, created in 2005 and revised in 2013 by the CASE Commission on Philanthropy, is intended to help development managers conduct internal self-assessments of information and programs. It is not intended for use by external regulators or auditors. The checklist may be useful to both new and experienced managers as they assess their programs and may also be helpful in staff training and orientation. It is intended to be inclusive but not exhaustive, and not all items may apply to every institution. CASE also provides a Management Checklist for Institutionally Related Foundations and another for Stewardship Programs.

Donation Inflation
CURRENTS Article Many development leaders grouse that liberal arithmetic for determining fundraising totals is becoming more common and does not comply with CASE's Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines. No one CURRENTS contacted for this story wanted to charge specific institutions with promoting bogus totals, but everyone wanted to talk about what they feel is a scourge on the profession. They cited examples of practices that enable institutions to claim they're breaking fundraising records. Such practices pressure other institutions to keep up, detract from the mission of educational institutions, undermine the promise and joy of philanthropy, and damage the profession's reputation.

Giving to Excellence: Generating Philanthropic Support for UK Higher Education
White Paper The Ross-CASE Survey of Charitable Giving to Universities is an annual survey of gift revenue and fundraising costs carried out to measure the philanthropic performance of UK higher education institutions. It is the only source of data on this subject in the UK and enables institutions to benchmark with peers. It also provides an estimate of the overall impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector. In 2014-15, philanthropic income secured in new funds rose by 8 per cent to £860 million, while the number of donors increased by just 1.6 percent.

Determining the Performance of Fundraisers
Article,  BriefCASE Article Calculating the return-on-investment of fundraisers can be critical when requesting additional funding, making employment decisions and explaining fundraising efforts to governing boards, said a CASE faculty member during a recent webinar.

Evaluating Fundraising Success for Independent Schools
Article,  BriefCASE Article What metrics should independent schools use to guide philanthropic campaigns? How can they best identify annual fund and major gift trends? One expert in benchmarking answered these and other questions during a recent CASE webinar.

What Charities Do Right … and Wrong
CURRENTS Article Nearly a third of nonprofits in the United States and Canada do not thank donors for gifts. This short story covers that and other findings from a survey of nonprofits.

Like Nailing Jell-O to the Wall
CURRENTS Article Measuring ROI in higher education fundraising—and using it as a predominant means of predicting and assessing performance—is not a good idea. It's advisable to use a variety of metrics to get a holistic picture of performance, development leaders say.

Gift Officer Metrics
Good Question Do you have any samples of metrics used to evaluate the performance of fundraisers, especially major gift officers? If not, do you have information that can help us develop metrics?

U.S. Colleges, Universities Raise $31B in FY2012
Article,  BriefCASE Article A survey released today by the Council for Aid to Education reveal that charitable contributions to colleges and universities in the United States increased by 2.3 percent in 2012 to $31 billion.

Benchmarking Tools Within Reach
Article,  Community College News Article Community colleges looking for a method to track their fundraising efforts in comparison to their peers should look no further than the Voluntary Support of Education survey, says one advancement leader.

Odds and Ends: Owning Overhead
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A interview with Dan Pallotta, the social entrepreneur and author discusses why overhead is the wrong metric by which to judge a charity; some changes that nonprofit boards need to make; and his advocacy for the nonprofit sector, including the Charity Defense Council organization he started.

Examining Assumptions About Fundraising Portfolios: Insights from Sales Force Management
White Paper This white paper looks at sales force management techniques as a way to help development offices assign major donors to development officers in order to minimize costs and maximize revenue. The paper considers four common fundraising models—constituency based, geographic, capacity based and the Mayo Clinic model—in relation to criteria used in sales-force strategies: product knowledge, customer knowledge, available time/travel and internal incentives.

To Reach Institutional Goals, Don’t Fear Fundraising Costs
Article,  BriefCASE Article Nonprofits, including educational institutions, do themselves and their causes a disservice by minimizing fundraising costs. That’s according to the pioneer of the successful multi-day AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-days.

Community Colleges
White Paper White papers and reports related to Community Colleges

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 2.2
Article This section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses the return on investment for fundraising.

Use of Technology for Development and Alumni/Constituent Relations among CASE Members, 2012
Report This research explores the role of "advancement-enabling" technology in helping institutions meet their development and alumni relations goals. The report also looks at trends since the first study was conducted in 2010 and offers advice for dealing with technology-related advancement challenges. Isurus Market Research and Consulting analyzed the data for CASE and Ellucian, which fielded the survey.

Advancement Research Tools Available at Your Fingertips
Article,  Community College News Article Benchmarking data and research about community college advancement programs are plentiful—if you know where to look.

Gift Officer Metrics & Reporting
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of documents describing gift officer expectations, metrics and reporting.

New White Paper Reports on Advancement Investments and Returns
Article,  BriefCASE Article The average return on an institution’s investment of $1 in fundraising is $5.99, according to the recently released results of the CASE Advancement Investment Metrics Study, or AIMS. The median return among 120 participating institutions in the United States is $4.86, although individual results ranged widely from $1.03 to $31.39.

Benchmarking Investments in Advancement: Results of the Inaugural CASE Advancement Investment Metrics Study
White Paper The Advancement Investment Metrics Study, or AIMS, benchmarked investments and staffing in each of the advancement disciplines (advancement services, alumni relations, communications and marketing, fundraising, and advancement management) as well as the return on the investment in fundraising specifically. This CASE white paper reports on the study's results by institution type, campaign status and other factors. The formulas and definitions used in the study are also included.

Return on Investment for Fundraising
Good Question How do we determine the return on investment in our fundraising operation? One way is to calculate the cost to raise $1 or £1, but do you have information on other methods? Are staff salaries typically included in calculations?

Experts Discuss Improving ROI and Performance in Fundraising
Article,  BriefCASE Article Identifying prospects is not the biggest challenge most fundraising offices face today. Instead, the biggest challenge is in determining how to organize efforts to cultivate those prospects to fill the short- and long-term giving pipeline. That’s according to three data mining experts who recently presented at a CASE Online Speaker Series.

Really Doing More with Less
CURRENTS Article DePaul University made the unpopular decision several years ago to limit major gift officers' portfolios to 70 prospective donors. The new system, which included changes designed to improve accountability, forced the development office to prioritize the prospect pool more effectively. The department has seen increases in both the volume of gifts and amount raised.

Outlook: Advancement's Faulty Foundation
CURRENTS Article Andrew W. Reeher, CEO of Reeher LLC, offers advice on how colleges and universities can make better investments of time and money in their fundraising operations.

Managing Up
CURRENTS Article When institutional leaders lay out unrealistic fundraising expectations, it helps to educate them about the unique fundraising needs and approaches of your institution.

Use of Technology for Development and Alumni Relations among CASE Members
White Paper This research explores the role of "advancement-enabling" technology in helping institutions meet their development and alumni relations goals. It includes data on how technology is being used, barriers to effective use of technology, and strategies for effective deployment of technology. The report is based on data provided by 357 advancement staff in higher education institutions and independent schools. Isurus Market Research and Consulting analyzed the data for CASE and SunGard Higher Education, which fielded the survey.

Performance Management Maturity Model: Raising the Bar of Fundraising Performance
White Paper Higher education development professionals face increasing demand for greater levels of success. Finding a solution to increasing output and improving performance in an environment filled with short-term presidents, persistent turnover, greater competition and higher board expectations is foremost in development leaders' minds. The Performance Management Maturity Model provides a prescriptive solution to raising the bar of performance. This internally focused methodology can set you on a path to new levels of organizational output and improved staff productivity and morale.

Ross-CASE Survey Shows Increased Higher Ed Giving Prior to Worst of the Recession
Article,  BriefCASE Article Giving to universities in the United Kingdom grew by 28 percent to £682 million in 2007-2008, according to the Ross-CASE Survey.

Better Together
CURRENTS Article Assessments in higher education are common—exams, state board tests, surveys, and focus groups, among other instruments. However, Widener University's convergence of academic assessment, strategic planning, and reaccreditation—and how they all inform and direct fundraising and campaign planning—is unique.

CASE Benchmarking Toolkit
The CASE Benchmarking Toolkit is a state-of-the-art survey tool that helps advancement professionals benchmark activities, staffing, budgets and other aspects of their programs with peer institutions. The toolkit allows peer communities of practice to design and conduct their own surveys, review results and instantly download charts directly into reports. The toolkit is available to advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing or related professionals at CASE member institutions.

Benchmarking and Performance Metrics for Development
Nicholas Offord
Conference Presentation Through analysis of data from the Canada Revenue Agency, this presentation suggests metrics that can be used to benchmark fundraising performance.

Educational Development in Australasia: 2008 Benchmarking Survey
ADAPE Australasia Inc. and the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology
Report In 2005 and 2008 ADAPE Australasia (Association of Development and Alumni Professionals in Education) members were surveyed to gather benchmarking data about their operations. This September 2008 report includes data about survey participants; their institutions' fundraising offices, activities, and revenue; and their alumni programs. Ninety-four percent of institutions in the sample were located in Australia with the rest in New Zealand.

Information Systems: McMaster University - Silver Medal
Best Practice When McMaster University decided to embark on its most ambitious fundraising campaign ever--a comprehensive campaign that would more than double the amount to be raised each year in 2006-2009--it needed to expand performance management and benchmarks for fundraisers beyond the number of completed visits. Stakeholders collaborated to create a Performance Management Report based on data in the institution's Advance C/S database.

Advance Work: Fun with Ratios
CURRENTS Article Using data from the Association of American Universities and U.S. News and World Report, an alumni professional devised a way to determine how alumni relations staffing affects fundraising.

Price Check
CURRENTS Article Many in development say measuring and reporting the cost of fund raising is a vital issue, while others contend it's overblown--that donors don't care about the return on investment of the money they contribute. This article explores why the cost of fund raising is so difficult to measure and compare among institutions, why it matters, and what factors campuses are counting in their expense totals.

Talking Points: For All You're Worth
CURRENTS Article Although you know how much money you make, it's hard to measure advancement officers' worth to their institutions, and to demonstrate that the institution is receiving a good return on its investment in you. Lippincott, CASE vice president for communications, outlines some crucial principles for measuring and reporting advancement's performance.

Weighing Dollars with Sense
CURRENTS Article The central purpose of development offices is to raise money. But to measure their effectiveness based solely on rigid dollar figures would be shortsighted, say many chief development officers. Some of these forward-thinking managers now assess the effectiveness of their operations by how well their efforts support the institution’s mission and goals, develop new and long-term relationships with potential donors, and move prospects and donors toward greater participation in the institution.

Learning the Ropes
CURRENTS Article Kelly reviews the use of several common models of the fund-raising process and discusses the value of using her five-step process of research, objectives, programming, evaluation, and stewardship (ROPES). Each of these components is described in detail. This article is adapted from chapter 10 of Dr. Kelly's book, "Effective Fund-Raising Management".

Fundraising Community

Connect with CASE members working in fundraising on CASE Communities.

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Sample Collection

The Library maintains a collection of sample materials for members.

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ROI for FR

The Library has compiled a collection of resources about return on investment for fundraising.

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