Planning A 10-Year Horizon

Taking a strategic approach to nonprofit operations, including campaigns, requires being able to look at both the short and long terms, and in between as well.

During the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Fundraising Day In New York 2016, David M. Sterling of Western New England University said that horizons can be seen as Near, up to 18 months; Middle, 18 to 36 months, and Far, three years and beyond.

For a campaign, however, he offered a more detailed breakdown, which can vary depending on the length of the campaign.
It looks like this:

  • Year 1: Pre-planning; and, Near Horizon.
  • Year 2: Planning; From Near Horizon to Middle Horizon, for a plan of six years or less, Near Horizon for seven years.
  • Year 3: Planning Middle Horizon for six years or less; and, Near Horizon for seven years.
  • Year 4: Quiet; and, Far Horizon for six years or less, Middle for seven years, Near for eight.
  • Year 5. Quiet; Far Horizon for a campaign of no more than seven years; Middle for one of eight years, and, Far for one of more than eight years.
  • Year 6: Whisper End of the line for a six-year campaign. Far Horizon for a seven- or eight-year campaign, Middle for a 10-year campaign.
  • Year 7: Public; Far Horizon.
  • Year 8: Public; Far Horizon.
  • Year 9: Public; Far Horizon.
  • Year 10: After; Far Horizon.