Plan A, Plan B or No Plan?
I was recently invited to speak to 15 fundraising professionals in a three-hour "conversation" discussion group. I love to instruct and interact so I looked forward to this engagement.
They wanted to discuss a variety of topics and issues relating to fundraising. They represented many organizations from large to small in size. Their work roles varied from president to executive director to director of development. The majority of these individuals managed others while raising funds and coordinating volunteers. Most of these professionals where mid-career in scope and had been in their current jobs for several years. Each person had work issues and sought advice.
I had lectured for several minutes when I stopped and asked a question — do you have a written operational plan to follow for you and your team? I thought I knew the answer based upon my experience in the past.
When I joined my current position, there was no plan to be found so I created one. The results from the group were made loud and clear. The final vote tallied 13 did not have any written plans and two had written plans. No wonder individuals within the group seemed frustrated with their jobs. No one is going to hand them a GPS. They have to establish a master operational plan on their own.
Why do you need a plan? Having a plan helps you see and evaluate the current road map already in place. A plan review helps you determine what resources your organization needs and helps you set goals and objectives for the future. Having said this, you must be experienced with plans and have a vision for what the "master" plan should be, or you may be missing the boat. In this case, mentors, peers or consultants can provide templates for you to use.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.