The Five W’s of Development Planning

By Elizabeth Hopkins, Brooke Jenkins, and Lizzy Mottern. The summer months are a good time to refresh and renew our enthusiasm for the important work we do – and to create a Development Plan for the year ahead. The Five W’s of Development Planning will help you focus on the important elements of your plan. Why Plan? A plan provides common understanding of what is being done, who is doing it, and by when. Development plans: Secure resources for your organization Keep donors connected, informed, and feeling appreciated Ensure the development team works efficiently and effectively. When to Plan? For many organizations, the summer marks the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of another, making this an ideal time to assess what worked well last year and plan for the year ahead. Start early and [...]

Five Ways to Become a More Effective Major Gifts Officer

By Elizabeth Hopkins.  For many major gift officers, summer is the opportunity to take stock of the success and challenges of the previous fiscal year and make resolutions for the new year. The most successful gift officers embrace prospect planning to ensure they are getting out of the office to find, cultivate and solicit the best prospects. If you are at your desk more than you are out, you are missing opportunities. Meetings, database entry deadlines, reports, and proposal writing can tie you down to your desk, preventing you from your primary responsibility of engaging prospects and donors in major gift conversations. Here are five suggestions to help you focus your work to become a more efficient, effective, and productive major gifts officer. 1. Create a personal annual development plan that includes both fiscal-year fundraising goals and engagement goals. Include [...]

Are your major donors ready? by Elizabeth Hopkins

Fundraising is all about relationships.  Whether a donor makes a $25 gift to your cause or a philanthropist makes a $1 million gift, the relationship you established helped motivate the gift. As you prepare for a campaign, nothing is more important than to build and solidify your relationship with each major gift prospect. Consistent, intentional stewardship and engagement between your organization and the donor are core components of a solid relationship. Personal stewardship ensures that the donor has a positive giving experience and feeds back into the cultivation phase of the new fundraising cycle. A major gift donor who receives good stewardship is likely to become even more involved with your organization and give again when asked. Major gift donors must receive regular, targeted communication and be aware of your social media channels so they are informed about your work. [...]

Formulas for Success with a Strategic Plan

Once a strategic plan is in place, it shouldn't sit on the shelf. Proactive organizations revisit their plans regularly and pay attention to the milestones for achieving their vision. This takes many forms; here are a few examples: Pictured above: moss+ross associates Lizzy Mottern, Brooke Jenkins, Chuck Fyfe, and Fred Stang 1. Syncing up: Consider an online survey to assess whether there is a common understanding about the mission, and if the Board's goals are aligned with the staff's. This technique is especially useful when you've had new board members or new staff members join your organization. 2. Self-evaluation: Even the best board can benefit from a self-evaluation about performance, leadership and alignment with strategic plans. Such an assessment is particularly important as a tool for correcting course. 3. Big picture: Organizations may neglect strategic planning because it [...]

2016-03-31T00:25:38-04:00March 31st, 2016|All Posts, Strategic Planning|
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