For organizations that begin their fiscal year on July 1, the first quarter has already come and gone. And so . . . how are you coming along with your annual fund? Are you on target to meet your goals for the year? Are you keeping on schedule with your mailings, events, e-solicitations, and personal contacts? Are you working your plan? Do you have a plan?
As important as annual giving is to an organization’s overall development effort, it’s surprising how many nonprofits don’t bother to put together an annual plan for their primary donor acquisition and renewal program. Instead, they just continue doing what they’ve always done or they bounce from one activity to another without a clear sense of the direction they want to head and what it’s going to take to get there.
The annual fund is the foundation of a quality development program. It warrants taking time to step back and assess how you can make it more productive. It deserves preparation of a “road map” – a well-considered, detailed, actionable plan.
An annual fund plan serves as a framework and guide for an organization’s annual giving activities. It aims to create a habit of giving among the organization’s various constituencies.
It is a plan of action with a detailed schedule for its implementation. It not only identifies the actions to be taken, it names the persons responsible for the specific actions, and the metrics to be used in measuring progress and success.
What are key elements of an annual fund plan? I suggest the following:
If your organization has an annual fund plan, I hope you are well on the way to successfully implementing it. If you do not have a plan, it’s not too early to be thinking about a plan for the coming year or too late to compile one for the second half of the current fiscal year.