While numerous funders and CDFI membership association and affinity groups support organizations with grants, investments, and programmatic technical assistance, strengthening the fundraising capacity of these organizations would increase the impact of the industry as a whole.
With this goal in mind, McIntyre-St. Clair and Aquaria Funding Solutions were recently contracted to assess the fundraising capacity of two CDFI organizations in two parts of the country.
The assessments focused on key elements of organizational capacity with an emphasis on the potential for external fundraising, and the elements that create two key determinants in persuading potential funders to provide support: reliability and impact. Reliability refers to the ability of the organization to meet its mission; impact refers to the degree to which the mission substantially addresses an articulated problem.
By demonstrating reliability in meeting a mission that has a meaningful impact, member organizations can effectively craft a case to receive more support to extend services. Funders may support the capacity of a reliable organization to improve its reliability, or to increase the impact of an organization that already demonstrates high reliability and impact.
The consultants conducted assessments of organizations selected by a membership organization using a proprietary assessment process that included the following strategies:
- Interviews – Interviews were conducted with key organizational leaders including executives, members of board governance, and current funders.
- Review of artifacts – Financial reports were reviewed to identify trends and challenges.
The focus of the interviews and review of artifacts was to explore the ability of the client organization to effectively deliver its mission in a sustainable manner.
The interviews and review of artifacts resulted in a report that outlines key strategic findings, identifies opportunities and challenges for increasing funding, and provides strengths and weaknesses in the support of fundraising. The ability of the organization to engage in fundraising was assessed and summarized in a final report.
Is your CDFI positioned for small business success? Contact Aquaria today – we’ll get you on the right track in no time.