Boy, that is an oldie but a goody! How many of you have been at a board meeting, committee meeting or staff meeting and heard someone say, “I have this great idea for a fundraising event!”. And, everyone leans in closely, hands on chins, expectant eyes and smiles galore waiting to hear about “the” idea that will save the day.
Well, and I promise you, there isn’t one. Even the very best fundraising idea cannot go from mention to fully realized without a lot of, and I mean a lot of, work. And, back to the title of this post, if it is not currently part of your plan, you are facing more work and more time to make it a success.
So what does that mean? First it means you need a Development Plan. That is a plan that outlines clearly the income goals for the year (or multi-year is even better) with the tactics you will employ to reach the goals and who is responsible for what.
The staff can begin the drafting of a plan as they know what resources they have. And, the draft can then be worked on within your development committee. And, finally, the board can endorse the plan. And, remember, this is one of the ways the board fulfills its role in fundraising.
What does this planning process do? Well, a lot. It forces your organization to answer some very important questions. They can include but are not limited to: How do we raise our funds? How much does the board and staff understand the role of development? What is the role of the board and staff in development? What development activities can we be successful at? Why do our donors give to our organization? And, lots more!
If you don’t have a plan; meaning a written down, agreed to, actual document that everyone gets to be part of making, you will go down many rabbit holes of “great ideas”. And the next time someone says, “I have a great idea….” you can say, “wonderful, let’s see if that fits within our plan this year, and if not, we can look at for next year.” Remember great ideas are great today, tomorrow, and next year.
I can help your organization with its development plan, and yes, you need one.