by Michelle Jimenez, Senior Consultant
Recently at a client meeting, we were brainstorming ideas for acquiring more sponsors for a big fundraiser that is approaching. One of the committee members suggested something that I thought was off base.
When I reflected on this later, it occurred to me that this was not part of our Development Plan. Then, I realized “Oh, she didn’t have the plan!” Shame on me! So many times we create great documents and put a great deal of thought and work into them. But then they ends up buried on a shelf or worse yet, thumbtacked to a cork board under a Jimmy John’s menu never to see the light of day.
That’s what happened with me. I had shared the client’s Development Plan with the Board, but overlooked sharing it with our Development Committee. Just like a basketball team’s playbook is memorized and referenced continuously by coaches and players alike, that same familiarity should be cultivated with a nonprofit’s Development Plan. After all, it is the roadmap for getting the ball down the court so to speak isn’t it?
If your organization doesn’t have a Development Plan to guide its fundraising and donor cultivation efforts this year, I’d suggest you create one. Some good sources to reference are listed in the links below. Of course you can always contact a member of our team as a resource too! Be sure your plan includes donor “touches” that are not financial asks; but rather, are ways to share stories of the success of your mission. Remember as Development Officers, our role is to thank, acknowledge, involve and ask. Then, once your plan is complete, s-h-a-r-e your plan with everyone involved with your mission so you’re all on the same page.
Here are some resources you may find useful in creating your Development Plans: