Checklist for Nonprofit Fundraising Assessment

Sections of this topic

    Assessment of Nonprofit Fundraising Checklist

    (certain sections of the following
    may be specific to the U.S.)

    Edited by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

    (Be sure to read How to
    Use this Tool
    and Disclaimers
    before using the information in this document.)

    This document includes general fundraising and using
    an outside professional fundraiser

    Also, consider
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    General Fundraising

    Indicator Met Needs


    1. Funds are raised in an ethical manner for
    activities consistent with the organization’s mission and plan.


    2. The Board of Directors and organization staff
    are knowledgeable about the fundraising process and its roles
    in the organization.


    3. The organization’s Board of Directors has
    established a committee charged with developing, evaluating, and
    reviewing fundraising policies, practices, and goals.


    4. The committee is actively involved in the
    fundraising process and works to involve others in these activities.


    5. The Board of Directors, executive director
    and committee supports and participates in the total fundraising
    process, including project identification, cultivation, solicitation
    and recognition.


    6. The fundraising program is staffed and funded
    at a level consistent with fundraising expectations.


    7. There are direct communications and relationship
    between information services or marketing, accounting, and other
    administration support functions to assist in the fundraising
    needs and efforts.


    8. The organization is accountable to donors
    and other key constituencies and demonstrates its stewardship
    through annual reports.
    Indicators ratings: E=essential; R=recommended;
    Additional to strengthen organizational activities

    Using an Outside



    Met Needs


    9. The organization meets the nonprofit standards
    of the state charities review council (if one exists in the state,
    e.g., the Minnesota Charities Review Council provides standards
    for Minnesota’s charitable nonprofits).


    10. If the organization chooses to use outside
    professional fundraisers, several competitive bids are solicited.
    Each prospective outside fundraiser’s background and references
    are checked.


    11. The organization makes legal, mutually agreed
    upon, signed statements with outside professional fundraisers,
    outline each party’s responsibilities and duties, specifying
    how the contributed funds will be physically handled, and to
    guarantee that the fees to be paid are reasonable and fair.


    12. The organization has verified that the contracted
    the fundraiser is registered as a professional fundraiser with the
    Attorney General and all filings necessary have been made before
    the work commences. (Registration requirements are dependent
    on state requirements.)


    13. The fundraising committee or appropriate
    representatives from the Board of Directors review all prospective
    proposals with outside professional fundraisers and reviews and
    accepts all agreements before they are signed.


    14. If the outside professional fundraiser plans
    to contact potential donors directly, the organization must review
    the fundraising materials (e.g., public service announcements,
    print or broadcast advertisements, telemarketing scripts, pledge
    statements, brochures, letters, etc.) to verify their accuracy
    and to ensure that the public disclosure requirements have been


    15. The organization properly reports all required
    information regarding the use of outside professional fundraisers,
    the amount of funds raised, and the related fundraising expenses as
    required by state and federal governments. The gross amount of
    funds raised by the contracted fundraiser is reported on the
    organization’s financial statement. The fees and costs of the
    campaign must be reported on the statement of functional expenses.
    Indicators ratings: E=essential; R=recommended;
    A= Additional to strengthen organizational activities

    This information may be copied. Please cite credit to the
    Greater Twin Cities United Way.

    For the Category of Organizational Development:

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