Fundraising campaigns seen profitable

Most fundraising campaigns are profitable ventures with solid returns on investment, but the current economic crisis is forcing some institutions to extend campaign timeframes or trim their goals, a new study says.

More than two-thirds of nonprofits say they spend less than a nickel on each dollar they raise, says the study of nonprofits that have engaged in a fundraising campaign within the past 10 years.

The online survey, which reached 300 organizations, was conducted by Campbell & Company and Slover Linett Strategies.

More than a third of companies fund their campaigns through their operating budgets, while fewer than two in 10 include their anticipated campaign expenses in their fundraising goal.

When asked what changes they might implement in future campaigns, 31 percent say they would undertake a more formal planning process, 23 percent would keep a closer eye on expenses, 17 percent would plan for additional staff and 13 percent would include campaign expenses in the initial campaign budget.

Colleges and universities, along with arts and culture groups tend to mount the largest campaigns, with the largest budgets to support them, the study says.

Overall, the average campaign budget allocates 39 percent of funds to staff, 22 percent to consultants, 19 percent to marketing, and the remainder to additional expenses like travel and events.

The dormant economy is affecting organizations that currently are conducting campaigns, with more than one in 10 reducing their goals and more than half extending their timelines.

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