8 elements of a solid plan

You don’t have to be in the midst of a campaign to take advantage of Kent Stroman’s annual fund tips. “Everyone’s in a campaign,” said Stroman, of the Institute for Conversational Fundraising in Tulsa, Okla. “You can apply some strategies we think are reserved for major campaigns every day.”

Stroman stressed the importance of a plan during the recent Association of Professional Fundraisers 2014 International Conference on Fundraising. The eight components of a good plan are:

  • Powerful story: The story answers the question of, “Why does this matter?”
  • A get-real budget: “Things cost whatever they cost,” said Stroman. “It does nobody any good to change the real answer.”
  • A calendar: You need a timeline and to figure out what the trigger points are.
  • Scale of giving: What will it take to get where you need to be?
  • A challenge: A challenge, such as a deadline for matching gifts, adds an external sense of urgency.
  • Collateral materials: Your direct response pieces, emails, social media blasts and telemarketing scripts all need to have a common, cohesive message centered around whatever you’re doing.
  • Accountability for results: The buck has to stop somewhere. You need a point person.
  • A prospect list: To whom are you talking? You need to think about targeting volunteers, donors, employees and influencers.