Cost of fund-raising
Craig Bond (CraigB1051@AOL.COM)
Wed, 1 Mar 1995 19:44:02 -0500
About a month ago (1-27-95, but who's counting), Hank Heine
suggested that council budgets need to be examined carefully to
determine the true costs of fund-raising.
Now, as an unexamined life is not worth living, so an
unexamined budget is not worth the paper on which it's written,
As it happens, my council audits each employee's time at four
intervals during the year, for two-week periods. These intervals
are changed so that we don't just choose "high program" periods
like the summer when we're heavy in day camps, too. The time
audits are monitored by our external auditors and reported to the
And, as it happens, my two-week period ended just last week,
so I have some fairly precise figures. Now, this is a very heavy
FOS period, so the numbers are skewed in that direction, this
period. If I do my job, and I do, the next period will occur after
I've reached my goal and it is likely that the entire two weeks
will go by without a single fund-raising hour. Ditto for the third
period and pretty close to that (except planning) in the fourth.
FYI, here is how one DE spent the period of 2/6-19/1995.
First column is the day of the week, second the day of the month,
third is program hours, fourth is general and management, and the
last column is fund-raising hours.
M 6 5.25 6.00 5.00
T 7 10.50 0.00 3.75
W 8 8.75 0.00 1.75
T 9 11.25 0.00 0.00
F 10 8.25 0.00 2.00
S 11 3.75 0.00 8.00
S 12 1.00 2.25 3.25
M 13 1.75 3.50 3.50
T 14 9.25 0.00 0.00
W 15 9.25 0.00 4.50
T 16 10.25 1.75 2.50
F 17 3.50 0.00 0.00
S 18 0.00 0.00 0.00
S 19 0.00 0.00 0.00
That's 130.5 hours in two weeks, and 63.4% (82.75 hours) invested
in program-related activities, 10.3% (13.5) in management and
general activities, and 25.2% (34.25) in fund-raising activities.
Does this seem unreasonable? Remember, that we must raise 25% of
our budget ourselves and our council has an unusually high level of
United Way support (40%+), one of the highest support levels in the
country. Other DEs have much higher goals than I, and often a
shorter time period in which they are supposed to reach the goal.
When I was in the hospital fund-raising business, we considered
anything under $0.10 per dollar raised to be an excellent ratio.
I figure that with my goal and the dollars raised would show a
ratio of about $0.034 (I'm estimating my own time at 5%, and this may turn
out to be an exaggeration of as much as 100%). Adding in a prorated percent
clerical staffer who handles FOS (and I'm using 100% of her time
even though she doesn't spend over 60%, I'd guess, but does get
some help from some others from time to time, so I'll hedge on the
side of the cynic), we would come up with an additional $0.06,
raising the total to about that dime per dollar.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City