How Productive Is Your Fundraising Team?

Ellen Bristol

March 15, 2023

About the Author

Ellen Bristol

Ellen Bristol, President of Bristol Strategy Group, is a nonprofit thought leader in fundraising effectiveness and nonprofit management optimization. She has a passion for helping small to medium sized nonprofit organizations, NGO’s, and social enterprises build and grow fundraising capacity, adapting classic principles of the process-management discipline to this all-important strategic function.

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Plenty of donor data, not much about fundraising teams

The nonprofit sector benefits from outstanding market research studies, including the annual Giving USA report, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, and the availability of excellent prospect-research services, all of which tell us a great deal about funder behavior. But almost no one has focused on the fundraising team, including staff, contractors, and volunteers. How do we know they are doing the right things the right ways at the right time?

Introducing the Leaky Bucket Fundraising Management Assessment

Bristol Strategy introduces the most sophisticated assessment of fundraising management with the Leaky Bucket Fundraising Management Assessment.
This dashboard solution measures the level of maturity of fifteen common practices in development shops. We correlate survey answers against the organization’s level of income and predictability of reaching annual income targets. We then deploy sophisticated tools for data analytics and visualization to give leaders insights into the realities of the work of fundraising, with suggestions on how to improve results.

How it works

The assessment includes a participant survey (up to 95 participants per organization), producing a dashboard using data visualization to tell the story. We recommend participation from the entire fundraising team, including major gift program, annual fund, grantseeking, corporate relations, even the earned-income/fee-for-service teams, as well as senior leadership and the governing board. If you don’t want, or can’t convince, your entire governing board to participate, enlist the fundraising/development
committee. The idea is to clarify the organization’s understanding of how you generate income.
Results show where fundraising efforts justify improvement initiatives. And because the Assessment is a year-long subscription, you will be able to track your progress over time.

Seeking early users

Bristol Strategy seeks early users of this new tool. Your data is critical to building a warehouse of information, to provide the entire nonprofit sector with predictive analytics.
Please email Ellen Bristol ( for more information and to discuss becoming an early user. You may also schedule a thirty-minute meeting by clicking here.

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