Are you operating your fund development without a long-range strategic plan? If so, you might be operating from a reactive crisis-driven position rather than a proactive visionary one. And, that in the long-term will hamper your fundraising success and just how much money you can raise.
A long-range plan does not guarantee immediate success either. In fact, it might take quite a bit of time to get your plan implemented and in action with resulting contributed income to follow later.
However, if you are an organization with fundraising that cannot keep up with your programmatic ambitious, I urge you to begin strategic fund development planning.
Where do you even begin?
First you need to clarify your goals. What is that you want to achieve with your organization’s funding plan? Next, you organize your resources such as the team who will lead this process and the timeline to complete it.
Then you need to step back and analyze what it is that you are currently doing for fundraising including examining financial data, understanding the motivations of current funders, and understanding your current capabilities.
From here, you need to determine which funding sources are most attractive to explore further, and examine how other similar organizations are approaching their fundraising efforts.
Now after taking a look at all this data, you are ready to begin identifying and narrowing your range of fundraising options and determine their feasibility.
In essence, you are ready to begin to put your plan together and select the best fundraising options to implement. At this point, you need to outline step-by-step how to implement your plan and what the costs associated will be.
Fund development planning is not always thought of as critical to fundraising. In fact, with the necessity to raise funds in the here and now, it often falls to the side-lines. However, long-range strategic fund development plans are critical to an organization’s success.
If you are operating without one, you fundraising will not have a long-range plan and your efforts will amount to becoming day-to-day without any cohesive vision for the future.