Resetting development: Highlighting the bright spots

By Yasya Berezovskiy, associate project director of learning and evaluation, CompassPoint |

What will it take to reset entrenched and ineffective development practices towards a fresher mindset and more effective approach?

Prompted by the widespread fundraising challenges identified in UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising (a joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund), the Haas, Jr. Fund convened a Resetting Development work group focused on highlighting potential solutions to chronic fundraising challenges.

Underdeveloped‘s findings resonated. Development staff felt validated. Executive directors were motivated to address these issues in their organizations. But how? What’s next? Are there groups who are successfully raising money from individuals in a way that’s personally sustainable for staff and financially sustainable for the organization?

At the heart of the Resetting Development project are these two questions:

  • What can we learn about a “culture of philanthropy” as a way of breaking the vicious cycle of chronic fundraising problems?
  • What can we learn from organizations that are beating the odds?
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