Fundraising Management Capability Maturity Model and Six Elements of Infrastructure

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Shannon West

This document includes a capability maturity model and the six elements of infrastructure that can be used to evaluate an organization’s fundraising management. In this process, the OPTIMIZING phase shows that fundraising plans are aligned with key partners, while integrated systems support the efforts to continuously improve the fundraising function.

The capability maturity model describes a maturity curve on these capability levels: INITIAL, which describes a poorly aligned function with non-documented strategies, manual management processes, lack of integrated systems and heavy reliance on spreadsheets/manual documents; REPEATABLE, which describes a loosely aligned function supported by informal policies applied to processes performed by personnel with mixed skill levels; DEFINED, which describes a strategic management structure in place with well-defined processes supported by an organized and highly trained team; MANAGED, which describes a function aligned with the organizational strategic plan and personnel; and OPTIMIZING, which describes a management process performed at an optimal level with best practices in full use.

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a framework that describes an improvement path from an ad hoc, immature process to a mature, disciplined process focused on continuous improvement. The CMM defines the state of a process using a common language that is based on the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model.

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