1. The CFC and Nonprofit Sustainability (pt I) & 2. Evaluating the CDO (Pt III)

Sections of this topic

    1. The CFC and Non-Profit Sustainability – I
    by Bill Huddleston

    In their 2010 book, Non-profit Sustainability – Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, the authors, Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka, and Steve Zimmerman, emphasized the fact that a non-profit’s “financial sustainability and programmatic sustainability cannot be separated.”

    It’s impossible to have a successful non-profit that pays attention to just one of those principles, but most of the financial information and information about program impact is not discussed in an integrated manner.

    The tool that was developed by the authors as a means of integrating this type of information and displaying it in a useful fashion is the “Matrix Map,” which combines group programs and financial information by business line as a means of developing an understanding of the actual impact of various programs.

    I do recommend that you pick up a copy of the book because this post presents just one small example of the concept and the techniques covered.

    The idea that both financial sustainability and programmatic impact are essential to non-profit success is sometimes referred to as the “dual bottom line.” The Matrix Map is a tool that places the various programs on a quadrant-type chart, along with the related descriptions and financial results.


    • The “Heart” programs are those that are important to the core of the non-profit’s mission, but they do not generate significant revenue;
    • The “Star” programs do both;
    • The “Stop Sign” programs may have outlived their usefulness, and should just be discontinued, or given to another non-profit; and,
    • The “Money Tree” programs produce significant revenue but do not have a big (direct) impact on the program. They are, however, more important than may first be realized because they “provide the water” for the Hearts.

    The “Money Tree,” at the least, is the category where a well-run CFC program for your non-profit should end up.

    See Part II of this piece next Wednesday, May 28.
    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach,
    served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal
    Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions,
    contact Bill Huddleston
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks.

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    2. Evaluating The Chief Development Officer – III
    by Tony Poderis

    Last week I noted that not all of a Chief Development Officer’s responsibilities are directly related to fundraising … another reason why his/her performance should not be evaluated based just on dollars raised.

    Chief Development Officers are often involved with, if not supervising, marketing, public relations, communications, budgeting, etc., thus further complicating an assessment of that person’s effectiveness in carrying out her/his responsibilities.

    The CDO’s bottom-line accountability depends, in great part, on the degree of coordination required and desired with fundraising volunteers, and the number of them organized, trained, and managed to carry out the various campaigns and special events to their fullest capacity and effectiveness.

    Another reason not to judge the CDO based on dollars is that where there is often the “blessing” of a serendipitous major donation, too often there is also the “curse” of an unexpected loss of a major gift which greatly and negatively affects the bottom line, but no way was the fault of the Development Director.

    Along with the CDO’s ongoing work to help meet the current and impending funding needs, that professional will also be working with key volunteer leaders in the process of identifying, meeting with, and cultivating potential donors for their future (near and long term) giving.

    That development professional may also be involved in the planning for a future endowment or capital campaign. And the results of those efforts will not be seen for some time … not now, as part of your current review and evaluation of your CDO.

    Ideally, another area of activity on which your CDO should be evaluated … your organization will also have programs and services that can be “packaged” for corporate, foundation, or individual sponsors and underwriters.

    Projecting those activities over time, well beyond the end of the current fiscal year, again gets one into the realm of “development,” a word denoting action and forward movement, but with results and evaluation being on a stretched sliding scale of time.

    A final thought: When a Chief Development Officer is hired, s/he should have enough experience/expertise to tell an organization about the criteria on which s/he should be judged … and in what timeframe.

    Have a question or comment about the above posting?
    You can Ask Tony.
    There is also a lot of good fundraising information on his website:
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks ??

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $3.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on the above, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subject(s) of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this page.