by Mandy Pearce

Regardless of the type of fundraising plan I utilized as a Development Director, the successful implementation of it began the Fall before.

I work with nonprofits of all sizes. Small shops and large alike all have one thing in common…. the fact that a successful year depends on the planning and implementation of a development plan the prior Fall.  

Do you find yourself behind the 8 ball when January arrives?

man in a business suit pushing a giant eight ball up a sloping ramp isolated on a white background

When you go to talk with potential donors, do they tell you they already made their commitments for that year?

Or maybe they let you know they determined their budgets in the 4th quarter of the previous year?

This is all too common, and I’ve been there.

So how do you plan around these issues?

Well, first off, if you don’t have a plan, you don’t have a leg to stand on.
You need a good development plan, with realistic goals and a strategy of how you are going to hit your numbers. (This also involved a good historical review and updated current metrics).

If your plan involves grant writing, major gifts, business or corporate donors/sponsors, or planned giving….. you want to start conversations for the upcoming year in late summer or early Fall of the previous year. This is the time of year that a LOT of major corporations work on their budgeting for the upcoming year. THEY are planning ahead, and so should you!

A red button with the words Act Now on it

They plan budgets, submit to boards for approval, tweak and then approve. This takes months.  If you haven’t had a conversation about being in that budget, you might have missed your chance until the following year.

If you are grant writing and you don’t have a strategy for who and what you are going to apply for 6 months to 1 year in advance you might miss really great opportunities to build relationships with foundations and get applications submitted.

Planned giving takes a long time and conversations should be ongoing.

If you are new to an organization, this can be a really difficult task to accomplish in year one. That is why knowing the right questions to ask and having access to historical data are vital to your success.

As you go into the 4th quarter of this year, start looking at your goals for 2018 and making appointments to secure those needed gift to achieve your goals.

Funding For Good is here if we can help you along this path and we are rooting for you all the way!!! Go be successful and keep growing for good!

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