Sunday, March 17, 2013

Planning for Development

Why plan for development?  Well, the answer is pretty simple.  When you don't plan, you don't achieve and "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" development work is seldom successful and always frustrating.  There are a number of reasons why a "Development Plan" is a good thing:

A Development Plan helps you plan to meet your revenue goals (your physical needs in your organization and your planned costs)

A Development plan helps you to avoid "mission creep" which is what happens when a great opportunity comes along unexpectedly.  When you don't have a plan and that great opportunity comes along you may say yes to something you don't have time, money, or volunteers to carry out.  If you have a development plan and the great opportunity comes along, you can see that you do have the time, money and volunteers and say yes or that you do not and you can comfortably say no knowing that you are making the best decision for your organization.

A Development Plan helps your organization to raise your level of professionalism among your volunteers, your donors, and your major funders as well.

A Development Plan lets you know, clearly, which funders you can approach for renewals and at what intervals.

A Development Plan allows you to carefully schedule events and such around those that are already in place in your community which will help you work with competitive events rather than suffer because of them.

A Development Plan can feed all other planning such as your Marketing and Communications Plan, all of which, helps your organization work at a pleasing and comfortable place.

Ever a proponate of planning in general, in a nonprofit organization which relies on fundraising, a Development Plan is crucial to your long-term success.