An illustration of a binary tunnel of numbers

If you had received a rather large inheritance and were looking for places to put your money you might seek the help of a financial planner.

The planner would probably review with you a series of "leading economic indicators" and help you to interpret their significance to the investment process. If you agreed that this was a time of growth, you might determine to invest some of your new wealth in stocks.

If you felt that it was a stagnant economic environment, or one showing evidences of receding, you might opt to invest in securities with a guaranteed return.

The leading economic indicators provided a perspective to guide you in your planning.

The same is true in organizational development. Churches, schools, colleges, and other non-profits who are seeking to set a direction for the future should make those decisions in the light of clear understanding of their developmental health. And just like there are "leading economic indicators" the BGW Development Group has created seven "leading developmental indicators" that will help you to assess areas of organizational strength and weakness.

Here they are:

  1. The Size of Your--How many names do you have on your organizational database?
  2. The Number of "Real" Donors--How many individual "giving units" do you average each year?
  3. The Amount of "Real" Support--How much did those individual donors give (on average) over the past three years?
  4. The Number of Core Donors--How many of these same individuals gave less than $1,000 each year?
  5. The Number of Major Donors--How many of these gave gifts between $1,000 and $10,000?
  6. The Number of Mega Donors--How many of these gave gifts of $10,000 or more?
  7. Capital Potential Index--What is your capital potential index? Keep tuning in to our blog for an explanation of capital potential index and how to calculate it!

The answers to these questions laid alongside the financial challenges facing your organization can provide you the perspective you need to make sound decisions. The initial responses to these questions also provide the baseline for all annual development planning.