So you ask…now that the planning is over now what do we do with the plan?
It is time to package it up!
Once the initial goals and objectives are drafted and approved by the planning team and board of directors, the organization needs to look at the two main audiences both internally and externally and in what form they should receive a copy of the plan.
And just like a case for support, there are several ways of packaging and for different reasons and audiences.
From my experience you will want to have an internal plan for executive management staff and board purposes that outlines priorities and goals, key objectives and tasks, along with any new staff requirements needed to achieve the plan, budgets to support the efforts and timelines for turning the vision into reality. This internal plan becomes the day-to-day operational plan. This version while very specific and detailed is less formal than what is presented externally. It can be kept as a very informal, rudimentary working document with an eye towards task management and internal benchmarking.
Externally, while not as specific, this document can be more formally polished and presented to a wide variety of stakeholders according to traditional modes of communication. These modes might include brochures, articles in newsletters, insider updates, websites, social media and other mediums as desired depending upon the particular cultural needs and expectations of the stakeholders including potential funders, donors and community partners.
1. Distributing a full copy to every board and management team member.
2. Distributing all (or highlights from) the plan to everyone in the organization from the newest employee to direct care staff.
3. Posting your mission, vision and values statements on the walls of your main offices.
4. Consider giving each employee a card with the mission, vision and values statements (or highlights from them) on a card.
5. Publishing portions of your plan in your newsletter, advertising and marketing materials (brochures, ads, etc.).
6. Training board members and employees on portions of the plan during orientations.
7. Including portions of the plan in policies and procedures, including the employee manual.
8. Providing copies of the plan for major stakeholders, for example, funders/investors, trade associations, potential collaborators, vendors/suppliers, etc.
So how have you gone that final step and packaged your strategic plan?
So often I have heard this one line uttered…”But I give of my time and that is my gift!”
Yes and no.
As a Board of Director, you are expected to give of your time. You are a volunteer. You have fiduciary responsibilities that you are not usually paid for. And folks contrary to what you might think, there are no laws against board members receiving compensation. But for this example, let’s look at your board and mine. They don’t get paid nor expect to.
This, however, does not make philanthropy an option.
It is a given.
Or it should be.
Today, funders and donors look for 100% giving. Is your board on board? Have they given to this fundraising campaign? Are they supportive and committed to the mission of your nonprofit charity? The answer to those questions better be “yes!”
I once read these important points by fund development guru Kay Sprinkel Grace…
“Philanthropy is not multiple choice; those who join and serve should also give.”
“Board members cannot ask others to be donor-investors if they themselves are not.”
“Board giving leverages gifts from others, including staff.”
“There is joy in that comes from knowing that your financial support is helping achieve an important mission in the community.”
Can we pressure the board of directors to give? Sure! But don’t you want them to give out of their heart and desire? Shouldn’t they want to naturally give to support your charities mission?
And, how do we role model the fundraising process for them…by announcing it at a board meeting and handing out pledge cards.
Shame on us if we do this! They are our most closest donors so treat them like so.
So philanthropy is not a multiple choice question. There is only one answer. And, the answer better be a heartfelt gift or let’s look at board expectations, assessments and attrition. Lets look at fund development and how we assume and operate.
Do your board members think philanthropy is a multiple choice question? How are you handling this? How are you shifting this culture to a “yes” or a “no”?
As a consultant, I get asked this question all the time. How do I find new donors for my fundraising efforts?
Well, let me offer a few easy and cost-effective steps that don’t require you to purchase or rent costly donor lists for your fund development program:
1. At every single board meeting and at every staff meeting, provide a regular opportunity and system for identification through including prospect identification as a standing meeting agenda item.
2. Prepare a sheet of paper which is headed: “Since our last meeting, I have met the following individuals or heard about the following corporations and foundations that might be interested in our work.”
3. Hold a series of organizational tours with an emotional hook sharing your case for support. Have board members host these fundraising events and invite their friends to come “take a closer look” with no implied ASK for a gift.
4. Identify natural donor “feeder” systems within your organization. Do you have friends and family members, community partners, an online store, contests, etc. Develop creative fundraising strategies to convert these “transactions” into sustainable organization donors.
While I am a consultant, I have gotten here through sharing of ideas, best practices and key learnings. So share yours…
What else can you think of? I wanna hear what you have to say..comment below!
P.S. – My first online e-course will be debuting this fall. It will be titled… “Get off the fundraising treadmill and set up a major gifts program in your small shop!” In-box me for more information!