Abila Releases Nonprofit Finance and Fundraising Collaboration Study

Differing priorities, variances in reporting metrics, and lack of communication are top challenges; software integrations important to collaboration

February 17, 2016 – AUSTIN, Texas – Abila, the leading provider of software and services to nonprofits, associations, and government entities, today announced findings from its Nonprofit Finance and Fundraising Collaboration Study. The study explores the current challenges between fundraising and finance departments and opportunities for a more collaborative nonprofit. The study also looks at trends by organization size and across generations (Millennials, Generation Xers, and Boomers).

“Collaboration between finance and fundraising is crucial to the success and growth of a nonprofit organization,” said Rich Dietz, Abila’s director of fundraising strategy. “We found many nonprofit professionals see opportunities for better collaboration, specifically with fundraising Millennials who feel the least collaborative with their finance counterparts. As more Millennials enter the workforce, it is critical that shared priorities and terminology are introduced from the very beginning.”

Key Study Findings Include:

  • Boomers feel the most collaborative. Millennials see room for improvement. A majority of Boomers working in finance (60 percent) and fundraising (57 percent) feel the relationship is very collaborative. However, 34 percent of Millennials surveyed who work in fundraising, and 51 percent of finance professionals think there is a very collaborative relationship.
  • Small organizations are more collaborative than large organizations. At smaller organizations (less than $10 million in annual revenue), 60 percent of finance staff and 49 percent of fundraising staff describe the relationship as very collaborative. At large organizations ($10+ million in annual revenue), 48 percent of finance staff and 36 percent of fundraisers state they have a very collaborative relationship.
  • Differing priorities, metrics, and communication are top challenges. Both nonprofit finance and fundraising professionals cite differing priorities, variances in reporting metrics, and lack of communication/information sharing as the biggest challenges they face when working together. Other top challenges include differing personalities, ad hoc reporting requests/interruptions, different terminology, and finance not understanding fundraising expenses.
  • There’s opportunity for improving the relationship. More than half of fundraisers (55 percent) see room for improvement, characterizing the relationship as somewhat or not at all collaborative. Nearly half of nonprofit finance staff (45 percent) describe the relationship as somewhat or not at all collaborative.
  • Software integrations are important. A majority of both fundraising (84 percent) and finance (79 percent) professionals feel it is somewhat important or very important to integrate their fundraising and accounting software. Fundraisers feel more strongly about the importance of the integration, with half of respondents citing software integration between their two systems is very important.

“Technology can play a key role in breaking down siloes, increasing information sharing, and improving opportunities for better decision making,” said Dan Murphy, Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ product manager. “When finance and fundraising are able to look at the same data, they can work together to report on the overall health of the organization to the board and other key stakeholders, instead of reporting on different goals and budgets.”

The full report can be downloaded at: www.abila.com/CollaborationStudy.

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About the Study
Abila surveyed more than 1,400 nonprofit professionals representing both fundraising and finance departments at organizations in the United States with annual revenue from $1 million to more than $50 million. The online surveys took place between November 5 and December 21, 2015.

About Abila
Abila is the leading provider of software and services to nonprofits, associations, and governmental entities that help them improve decision making, execute with greater precision, increase engagement, and generate more revenue. With Abila solutions, association and nonprofit professionals can use data and personal insight to make better financial and strategic decisions, enhance member and donor engagement and value, operate more efficiently and effectively, and increase revenue to better activate their mission. Abila combines decades of industry insight with technology know-how to serve nearly 8,000 customers across North America. For more information, please visit www.abila.com.

Media Contact:
Jenna Overbeck
(512) 861-3248