Every gift needs a roadmap

No one doubts the importance of major gifts, and no one doubts the need for effective planning for a major gifts program.

During the recent Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, Patrick Bower and Gary Hubbell of St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa., emphasized the importance of planning for landing major gifts. They offered an overall process that creates the necessary context and clarifies or reaches consensus on values, aim or vision and priority areas for improvement.

Their priorities are a more effective prospect pipeline and a strengthened relationship with donors.

Further, they said that a simple planning tool could be utilized in preparation for a major gifts drive, one that is sustainable. They outlined the following as that simple planning tool:

  • Problem Statement. Can we succinctly say what is wrong or missing?
  • Target Statement. What are we trying to accomplish?
  • Analysis. What is our understanding of the issue? What do we observe?
  • Know best practices. What are other successful programs doing that we might adopt to our current situation?
  • Goals.
  • Strategies.
  • Initiatives/action steps and timing.
  • Measures. How will we know that our changes are improvements?
  • Budget implications.
  • Follow-up and process monitoring steps.