Public benefit charitable organizations are committed to raising money.  And many of these social organizations expect that donated dollars will comprise a significant portion of the operating budget.  So far, so good.  Then they might throw an event, or write a grant proposal, or see where the richest people live.  I say – WAIT!

Let’s be more intentional, and create a comprehensive plan in which you incorporate strategies based on winning practices.

When planning for resource development, ask some key questions:

1. Why do we need to raise money?  Do you really know why you want to go down this road?  Do you have a case for support?  Do you have a financial goal?  If you’re stuck, try answering this –  What happens if you don’t raise the money?

2. What are the non-financial goals?  In addition to the bottom line, are you intending to involve board members on a deeper level?  Do you need to beef up your communication plan?  Are you hoping to identify some future partners?  Believe it or not, it’s not all about the money.

3. What has worked in the past? Be sure to review any development efforts you have tried, and build on demonstrated success.  What was the return on the investment of time and resources?  Did you attain goals?  Do you have the capacity to repeat it?

4. How diverse is the plan? The old “eggs in one basket” adage comes into play here.  For example, organizations which were heavily grant funded, had a tough awakening during the recent recession.   The more diverse a donor base you achieve, the stronger your retention will typically be in the future.  An annual campaign focused on individual giving can be very powerful.

5. Who is keeping track?  An important component of any plan is identifying who is accountable for what.  And what is the timeline for implementation?  I wish I had a dollar for every fundraising plan that got created and then hid in a computer file.   Even if you don’t have a Development Director, you can operationalize the plan and have a committee that includes the CEO to monitor progress.

For assistance in creating your own plan, you can reach me here.