The biggest piece of the Advancement Services pie is gift processing, receipting, and donor acknowledgment. We have complicated funds management to perform, communications between the development and finance departments to manage, and of course daily revenue input and reconciliation. But is that all there is?
Advancement services is more than FASB accounting rules and CRM data management.
It's the heart and heartbeat of a fundraising organization, because it provides everything that the rest of the body needs.
It’s customer service for internal and external customers.
It’s fiduciary management of resources, ensuring that donor intent is documented and followed.
It’s a promoter of internal accountability—ensuring that the I’s are dotted, the T’s are crossed, and the organization follows its policies as promised.
It’s donor experience centered, ensuring that communications are accurate and timely, and that information is shared with all relevant parties.
It’s a gatekeeper, monitoring access to personal data, researching to uncover relevant interests and capacity while also protecting information from non-essential prying eyes.
It’s a deliverer of timely, actionable, meaningful data—helping to identify trends on which to capitalize or to question.
It’s about sharing data across multiple systems, adhering to best practice across multiple business functions, and taking the lead for constant improvement. When Advancement Services runs on all cylinders, it sets up an organization for fundraising success.
If you are running in advancement services business unit, don’t forget that your responsibilities extend far beyond the day-to-day operations of receiving and processing revenue. Don’t overlook:
- Online systems and the user experience.
- Manual processes that have been in place for too long, that could be fine-tuned and replaced with automation.
- Training, training, training.
- Participation in campaign strategy planning so your team is prepared to support the organization’s fundraising initiatives.
- The creation of a CRM culture in your organization and the elimination of external data silos.
- Your responsibility to bring ideas to your fundraiser colleagues to help them succeed.
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