We’re about to release a study that we hope will get tongues wagging.

The thesis? That in most organizations fundraising is limited more by internal structural and cultural issues than by lack of strategic or tactical know-how.

Inspired by studies by the Haas Jr. Foundation,  we aim to solve this problem by helping organizations build a culture of philanthropy.

We run up against organizations that have not embraced a culture of philanthropy time and time again. And one of the major sore points raised by over 300 non profit professionals we surveyed was friction between the CEO and the development director.

It’s almost impossible to envision a scenario in which a dysfunctional partnership between the CEO and development director leads to successful fundraising outcomes. While many of the survey participants give their CEO high marks, a third give their boss a C or below in terms of their fundraising performance. And the distrust apparently goes both ways. The Haas report Underdeveloped identified a lack of trust by CEOs in their development directors, and we found evidence of that as well.

Mark had a client recently who had gone through five development directors in four years. None it seemed was up to the job of meeting the organization’s fundraising target. And how were those targets set? Arbitrarily by the board and ED. And based on what? This is a direct quote from the chairman of the Board development committee: “because that’s how much we needed.”

If you have a strong relationship with your CEO or ED, email us at alia.mckee@seachangestrategies.com. We want to know your secret sauce so we can share it with others.