By: Russ Hodge, CFRE – Managing Partner
The Hodge Group
Amongst the organizations we serve there has been an increasing drive toward standardizing and qualitatively analyzing the Development process. This is taking the form of several different types of dashboards, flash reports, other bench-marking and tracking documents. These documents are given to volunteer boards to demonstrate the progress or lack of progress of the fundraising function. But I wonder, if these reports in all of there complexity are not only a management tool for Trustees but also a way to distance themselves from the real work of Development which is intimate, personal and in fact “in your face”. Looking at pie charts, bar charts and ROI’s is very different from having a meaningful discussion about a close relationship with an individual and how that can transform the organization. All though not statistically valid I found often the Boards with the least amount of data are the highest performing because they are focused on the task at hand – raising money, and the inverse is true as well. It’s not to say that we do not need accurate real time reporting systems but the purpose is the real question.