Without a plan, plan to lose money


Regina Pinney
Executive Director

As we emerge to seek a new normal, our post pandemic development strategies must be adaptive and directive and emphasize what we have learned in the past years and what we can (and can not) control.  

A first step is to recreate (or create) a development plan to attract and retain donors and ensure these strategies are cost effective and our investments of time, talent, energy, and resources are efficient and effective.  

Without a plan, we risk being a statistic - the one where nonprofits lose more donors than we gain.  

Building a development plan that includes realistic and achievable goals, strategies, and metrics for tracking progress creates structure.  Without a plan, organizations tend to focus on doing and on tasks, running in circles and repeating for the sake of feeling busy, instead of gaining traction, gaining donors, and achieving the ultimate vision. 

With a plan - without goals - without measurements - we don't know what we gain or lose.  If we don't have a plan, we flounder.  

The critical conversations and processes your organization will go through as part of planning forces you to focus on connecting your mission, vision, and values with the needs of your donors. This type of adaptive planning allows you to be donor-centric and create segmented approaches.  

Creating a plan allows you to be deliberate. Creating a plan forces you to be accountable to the results.  This effort builds organizational muscle and enlarges the group’s capacity to address its mission. 

Here are five reasons you should create goals, strategies, and a step-by-step plan:

1. Build the Donor's Trust. 

A plan is a great communication tool to signal donors you are an organization that takes its mission and resources seriously. This is groundwork for acquiring, retaining, and upgrading donors' gifts.

2. Engage Staff & Board. 

A plan is also a great internal communication tool to engage your board, staff, and volunteers in the effort to raise funds.

3. Increase Efficiency and Success.

The process of developing the plan is much more efficient than trial and error fundraising. It will help you to save time and money while increasing success rates.

4. Identify Growth Opportunities. 

The process naturally identifies areas in the organization that need to be built up and improved. Strengthening these areas that have been holding you back is key in gaining ground on mission accomplishment.

5. Provide Peace of Mind. 

A solid fund development plan has a calendar component to it. These dated benchmarks go a long way to eliminating running in circles and getting lost. This automated aspect provides the peace of mind that can contribute substantially to organizational morale. 

Failing to plan could be a plan to fail.  Without a plan, you could lose money. 

If you'd like to start the planning process, join us on April 3rd, 2023 online at our new workshop for Fundraising Strategies for Grassroots Organizations.

Or if you would like to discuss the process of developing a useful fund development plan, contact us.  We'd be happy to talk it through with you.

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