4 Key Indicators of Fundraising Success

by Suzanne Battit and Karen Lieberman-Daly

Posted August 28, 2023

Successful fundraising is critical for the ability of many nonprofits to achieve their mission goals. What makes for successful fundraising? In this video, Karen Lieberman-Daly and Suzanne Battit explain the “Four Key Indicators of Fundraising Success.”

Karen Lieberman-Daly: What we’re really interested in doing is helping organizations build their fundraising muscle. And in this partnership, we’re educators, trainers, but we’re not often the doers. So our job is really to help them get stronger as a fundraising organization.

Suzanne Battit: We teach them how to do it, and we also try to set them up for a long-term sustainable fundraising program. It’s not just about the campaign at hand.

Karen Lieberman-Daly: We have what we call “Four Key Indicators of Fundraising Success.” The first is “The Case For Support.”

Suzanne Battit: You need to have a really good sense around what you’re raising the money for and why.

Karen Lieberman-Daly: Is it compelling? Is it competitive? Does it paint a big enough, exciting enough picture?

Suzanne Battit: It is really critical for our clients to be able to articulate the impact of their funding, because that’s how they’re able to secure funding. It’s how they’re able to secure larger gifts, it’s how they’re able to secure multi-year commitments, it’s how they might be able to engage new prospects, new donors, is by demonstrating and sharing the impact.

Karen Lieberman-Daly: Next is “Leadership.” And when we look at leadership, we look at three different categories of leadership. Do they have executive leadership that is committed to philanthropy and building their philanthropic strength? Do they have a board that’s committed and perhaps capable of being a part of their philanthropic program? And do they have volunteers in addition to the board at the leadership level who might participate?

The third is prospects. Does the organization have people beyond its board who care about its mission and have continued to support the organization?

Suzanne Battit: People give to people, you know? They give to a mission, they give to their passion, they give to good work, but they’re giving to people. There’s got to be a very strong relationship there to be able to have that open conversation.

Karen Lieberman-Daly: And then the fourth is infrastructure. Do they have resources to invest? Do they have the right staff doing the right jobs focused on the right things? And do they have the technical expertise required to manage the kind of operation they intend to grow into?

The art of this is you want to have a relationship with a client where you’re meeting them where they are and you’re helping them visualize getting to where they want to be. The vision has to be theirs. Each client is very unique.

Suzanne Battit: That’s what makes it so fun and interesting and rewarding, because, on any given day, we are working with clients at all ends of the spectrum across all sectors. Newer organizations, mature organizations, new leadership, growing organizations, whatever it may be. And that’s what makes it so interesting for me, you know, so rewarding and so enjoyable is that it’s this variety and that we can also bring the lessons learned because we’re learning very different lessons with all of these different clients at different stages. And we can bring all these lessons to all our clients. It’s one of the things that sets us apart.

Karen Lieberman-Daly: Clients come to us when they’re ready to make a big leap, when they’re ready to do something different. And that makes it all that much more thrilling.


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