HomeCorporate Social ResponsibilityEnduring Fundraising Sustainability Must Start with a Fundraising Assessment
Arun Sharma TFA

Enduring Fundraising Sustainability Must Start with a Fundraising Assessment

A Typical Assessment

The methods and tools of a typical assessment vary, but it is a hands-on process, as this is the only way to truly get under the skin of an organisation.

We are at pains to not come across as ‘auditors’, but yet are comfortable asking challenging questions via a combination of meetings with senior management teams, trustees and those responsible for fundraising.

We assess the ability of a CSO to effectively fundraise by looking at all information through the following six areas. This is not a ‘box-ticking exercise’. For instance, while having a business plan is hugely advantageous, using one or knowing when not to use one is an entirely different matter. This means using experienced staff to make qualitative assessments over the following areas:

  • aims and ambitions as an organisation, linked to a clear business plan
  • governance, staffing and culture to support the pursuit of these aims and ambitions, including policies and processes undertaken to ensure sound organisational management and operation
  • products and services the organisation provides to beneficiaries and which need customers or partners to fund
  • positioning, case for support and marketing capability, so that it can positively direct and influence customers and funders, including demonstrating need and impact
  • fundraising and income generation capability, resource, knowledge, experience and how well they are structuring activities, plus looking into past, present and future activities
  • financial robustness of the organisation, by assessing accounts past, present, forecasts, reserves and splits.

We carry out the assessments and all notes are typed up after each meeting and cross-referenced with materials provided and researched.

Recommendations will be identified through this qualitative assessment. For instance, as with one recent CSO we assessed, it became clear from external feedback and general take up that they had an excellent programme of services, well used by a growing group of clients and funders, yet were struggling to make income to support core activities. The recommendation to review how these costs are developed and test them on the market was a simple, but logical one.

Finally, a third member of the team reviews any final assessment and corresponding recommendations, so that the assessing team is challenged in their findings.


Arun Sharma TFA      Arun Sharma is the Founder and Director of TFA.



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