4 things in your fundraising pencil case that need to be right
Technology, staff, your strategic plan, your case for support. You can consider these the building blocks of your organization’s success, or failure if you don’t have them right. It’s like bringing a regular old calculator to advanced calculus. It might work for you the first week of class, but by Chapter 2 in the textbook, it’s not going to be enough. You need a special one to make it through the course, or, unless you’re a character in a movie, you’re probably going to fail.
The wrong technology will lend itself to immense frustration and incredible time-wasting. But more than that, it will hold you back and keep your organization from growing. To ensure that your technology will allow you to grow, consider the future: where are you striving to be in 5 years? Look for something that will work then, as well as now.
Every person on your team has unique skills, knowledge and experience. Mike’s article in Fundraising 101 blog discusses how to ensure the staff you have are performing to the best of their abilities, contributing something special and working efficiently. If management and HR policies at your organization are prohibiting staff performance and development, you likely don’t have the best culture for success in place.
3. Your Strategic Plan
This will take you from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Without a clear strategic plan in place, fundraisers mill around aimlessly, unsure what they are aiming for and how to improve. Strategy usually comes from the leadership at your organization but if this is lacking for you, think about being more strategic in your own unit or department. Creating your own strategic goals can be extremely helpful as long as they are in line with the rest of the organization. Before you put your tactical plan together with mail and email dates first ensure you are clear on what your strategic goals are.
4. Your Case for Support
This is your organization’s story and the backbone of all of your communications. It should be emotional, logical, compelling. It explains why you exist, what you do, why it’s important, why people should support you. It is the foundation for all of your communications from emails to grant applications, and face to face scripts to DRTV spots, and every form of communication in-between. A strong, well-written case for support will draw people, take hold of their hearts and minds, empower them, and show them that supporting you, is the right decision for them.