International Strategy in Action
3. It commissioned fundraising market profiles of each of these eight markets. As well as a broad overview, the organisation looked to see whether the market would give to the cause, whether it could support the particular approach to fundraising (a particular strength in DRTV), how much direct competition was present and also whether the public would be likely to engage actively in building a movement.
From this, the organisation selected three markets with the best potential. This is a critical strategic point that the follow-the-leader approach ignores — a market that works well for your competitor could be disastrous for you. For example, another organisation might have a high-profile brand presence that you do not have; it might have expertise in a particular fundraising technique that the market demands that you do not have.
The fundraising launch point for each market was timed to coincide with the in-country movement-building reaching critical mass; in practice, this meant launching the three markets over a period of four years — and also staying fairly flexible with timing.
4. The organisation included full financial investment modelling. It also developed a detailed year- one test programme, legal requirements and the identification of in-country suppliers.
5. It appointed an experienced fundraising manager. This step was less strategic but no less critical for successful implementation. For the first market, it seconded a member of staff from another market, due to the lack of in-country expertise.
The first two market launches have taken place, and both are proving successful. The organisation has been particularly successful at harnessing movement-building to build its profile and to develop a warm prospect list for fundraising.
It also has been “fleet of foot.” Having researched, modelled and planned as much as it could, the organisation recognised that only a live test would give it the reality of the market. The quality of its preparation meant that it was right about the “ballpark,” but the details of how to translate successful fundraising programmes in other markets to this new market took some trial and error. Its experienced fundraising manager was crucial in markets where agency expertise was limited, so it actually was able to push the fundraising boundaries.
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