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Fundraising Outreach & Engagement at a Glance

Filed in General Fundraising — September 20, 2023

In our blog we’ve pulled back the veil on our approach and methodologies through a largely ‘plug and play’ resources and Masterclasses so you can skillfully engage the funding partners your mission deserves.

Black Fox Global

Welcome to the Blog

Black Fox Fundraising Handbook

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By Ashley Stokes, Black Fox Advancement Specialist

How to harness the power of an engagement dashboard to track fundraising progress and boost team efficiency.

Effective and efficient fundraising is crucial for nonprofits to achieve their goals in today’s highly competitive fundraising landscape. To aid in this process, Black Fox Global uses an Engagement Dashboard to track progress throughout our client engagements. In our latest open-source offering, we explore how this dashboard simplifies the tracking of fundraising efforts, creates accountability and transparency, and provides a consistent, at-a-glance look at funding progress and deliverables.

The dashboard provides the ability to track and monitor key fundraising success indicators easily. While many NGOs use various project management software tools to assist with collaboration and connecting across their organization, the dashboard is a helpful snapshot of the work happening across these teams. At Black Fox Global, we use this tool as our internal and client-facing snapshot for our client engagements. 

Although our fundraising efforts are extensively documented in a collaborative management app, it doesn’t offer a convenient overview of our work. The dashboard provides a concise picture of overall advancement outreach, highlighting progress towards important indicators of success. 

Our Advancement Outreach service enables organizations to foster meaningful connections with potential funders. By leveraging our techniques, including strategic professional persistence, we demonstrate quantifiable results through our user-friendly Engagement Dashboard. Clients can easily see the number of:

  • Funder outreach attempts made (through emails, phone calls, etc.), both from our team and the client
  • Funders who responded positively and requested additional information 
  • Funders who responded positively and requested a meeting
  • Secured funder meetings
  • Invitations for grant or Letter of Intent (LOI) submissions
  • Funding received during (or after) the engagement
  • Funders who denied funding at this time and need further cultivation 
  • Funders who denied funding at this time but may change their priorities in the future, prompting the client to follow up periodically

This snapshot serves as a crucial reference point during regular collaborative sessions with our clients. Together, we analyze the dashboard’s insights, enabling us to assess the impact of our outreach and make informed decisions about refining our approach. Through this collaborative process, we ensure that our clients receive the quality service and progress in their relationships with funders to deepen their impact.

This process has helped us serve our clients by:

Efficient Prospecting:  Being efficient is at the core of our work.  The dashboard serves as a centralized hub, recording every outreach effort while simultaneously tracking funder responses. By tracking this information, we can assess the effectiveness of outreach efforts and refine techniques and strategies accordingly. We utilize and review this information regularly with clients to gauge progress.   

  • What this means for you: NGOs can use the dashboard to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to their outreach efforts and fundraising targets. By customizing the dashboard, NGOs can determine the efficacy of different communication methods, whether it be through emails or phone calls, and also identify the effectiveness of specific appeals or email templates, LOIs/grants submitted, and dollars raised. Tracking these outcomes enables NGOs to identify successful strategies and adjust tactics if necessary. 

Enhancing Transparency: Transparency is key in fundraising and for Black Fox Global, builds client trust. The Engagement Dashboard ensures transparency by offering accessible and visual tracking of funder outreach efforts, funding progress, and deliverables. By leveraging the power of data, the Dashboard presents information clearly and concisely. With real-time updates, organizations can easily monitor the status of each fundraising effort, enabling them to make informed decisions and stay aligned with the organization’s goals.  This resource has benefited our clients when they need to show fundraising progress or funding potential to their board members or to funders to demonstrate the professional nature of the fundraising engine. 

  • What this means for you: NGOs can leverage the dashboard to create clear and intuitive representations of their outreach outcomes, fundraising progress and potential. If your organization has board members, other departments, or stakeholders seeking a comprehensive view of your fundraising efforts and return on investment (ROI), this clear display of information can significantly simplify their understanding and engagement with the data. Further, it allows anyone within your organization to align on clear fundraising targets, ensures transparency around progress made on outreach and subsequent results, and creates opportunity for open conversations about what is working, what is not, and what can be done to reach your fundraising targets.  

Timely Delivery Tracking: Accurate and timely delivery is critical to our success, particularly when creating a client’s Communications Toolkit or meeting deadlines for grant submissions. The dashboard’s ability to show delivery dates enables us to track and manage time-bound activities effectively. With this information readily available, we can ensure timely follow-ups or necessary approvals, reducing the risk of missed opportunities or delays.

  • What this means for you: For NGOs, the dashboard can serve as a central hub for communication and coordination among team members. During your weekly staff meetings, this is an excellent resource to discuss progress with important communication materials and critical LOI and grant application deadlines, enabling better collaboration and minimizing delays.

Tracking Grants and Foundations: The dashboard provides an overview of all grant proposals, including their status, key dates, and any important notes. It helps us keep track of proposal stages, such as those in progress, submitted, and funded/not funded. This allows for better organization and monitoring of our engagement progress with clients, and demonstrates the potential financial impacts of the engagement, many of which are likely to be fully realized after our work with the client is complete.

  • What this means for you:  Our Foundation Tracker tab is an indispensable tool for NGOs looking to monitor their revenue goals effectively. This critical template provides an up-to-date overview of potential partnerships, quantifies the percentage likelihood of securing funding, tracks awarded grants, and calculates the required funding to achieve your target goals. Using the Foundation Tracker, you can strategically advance funders up the percentage scale, maximizing insights on the probability of securing funding. This feature underscores the significant role of building strong relationships in securing financial support. Increased engagement with funders significantly enhances the likelihood of securing the necessary funding for your organization’s success

The Engagement Dashboard is easily customizable for any NGO looking to monitor their outreach efforts and progress toward fundraising targets. This tool significantly improves the capability to have a clear picture of fundraising efforts and outcomes, enabling you to calibrate to even greater success. It streamlines monitoring, supports efficient prospecting, tracks delivery dates, simplifies approval processes, and allows comprehensive documentation and transparency within your organization. By leveraging this tool, NGOs can increase their fundraising success rates and ensure better collaboration within your organization. Access your customizable Engagement Dashboard here by creating a copy and saving it either on your organization’s shared drive, or downloading it as an excel or numbers sheet.

As you continue on your fundraising journey, Black Fox Global sends you well wishes for a remarkable fundraising season. May your dedicated efforts create a profound and positive impact on all you serve, and may the incredible generosity of others surpass your fundraising expectations.