Funds for All & All for Funds

Welcome to my blog! I'd like you to consider this an interactive space for sharing information, successes, ideas, strategies, and links to help us all raise more funds for nonprofits.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Strategic planning & creative visualization

Planning in fundraising has never been more important. The age-old strategy of "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" won't work in 2010. To understate it, it's a very competitive market. Foundations and donors cutting back, and they have to be strategic too -- so if your organization has reached June and you still don't have an annual fundraising program plan, you may fall by the wayside in their priorities.

Planning ahead - maybe two years ahead -- is what I'd suggest.

Convene an informal group -- not a committee -- of your best creative thinkers and have a rolled-sleeves, kitchen table creative session to visualize your nonprofit two years in the future. Does it look the same? Provide the same services? Depend on the same funding sources? You need to do some outside-box thinking.

Creative visualization isn't just for artists. It's a powerful tool for gaining access to your more creative ideas, the ones that can make a big difference in your organization's future. One nonprofit I know envisioned starting a commercial catering service that not only provided vocational training and employment for its clients with disabilities, it succeeded in becoming financially self-sufficient in doing so. Now they have to turn away customers.

Others have envisioned such innovative strategies as micro-loan programs, where funds aren't donated to help people, but lent to give good ideas a start, and then return to the lender to go out again empowering individual initiative and enterprise somewhere else.

One nonprofit organized a Thankyou Squad. The opposite of those telemarketing programs that annoy us at meal times. This group of volunteers agreed to call donors to give them a personal thankyou, as one donor to another, for supporting the cause. The results: increased donations from every single donor who received a peer thankyou call.


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