The importance of strategy
As noted, a well-planned and implemented strategy is the foundation of successful fundraising. Our consultative process ensures a strategy tailored to your organisation and designed to grow your fundraising revenue year-on-year.
We are also attuned to your return on investment (ROI) and always focus on bottom line returns.
For us, strategy is about developing your organisation’s road map to the future. In real terms, where you want to be and how your organisation will reach those goals.
We apply a number of steps to ensure this happens.
First. When Nourish nfp works with you to develop a fundraising strategy we don’t just cover the strategic plan itself but also the financial forecasting that goes with it. While this may sound like common sense, it is often overlooked.
Second. We work with you to develop the operational plan. Effectively, the part that spells out how the strategy will be implemented. We can then provide key consultancy support during this critical implementation period.
Overall, our fundraising strategies focus on the most efficient and effective fundraising channels that will provide the best outcomes for your organisation and your beneficiaries.
Let’s look at some of the specifics.
It is obviously essential to gain an early and very clear understanding of your existing fundraising strategy. It gives us an excellent basis for understanding how your fundraising is currently operating and identifies key areas of strength and weakness.
To do this, we bring together our team with your Board and critical staff to gain a truly representative overview. We always operate in this collaborative manner to ensure transparency and maximum, relevant input.
We believe this is a vital and incredibly productive process in the strategic planning phase.
Quite simply, a fundraising audit should be the starting point in the development of your strategy. It provides a clear story to where you’ve been and where you are now. It also sets the direction and groundwork for the future fundraising plan. As important, the audit looks beyond base fundraising financial performance and focuses on all parts of the program including retention strategies, supporter communications and even competitor reviews.
For Nourish nfp, strategic planning is best described as a process that allows us to look at your past and current fundraising environment and operational conditions. This allows us develop a future framework to ensure the programme can deliver its revenue requirements over the next 3-5 years. We do this using a range of tried and tested planning tools and in collaboration with your fundraising and senior management team, engage these strategies in a timely, effective and efficient manner. All elements are considered!
As noted, financial forecasting is (amazingly) often overlooked in developing fundraising strategies.
We understand its importance and have developed detailed financial models for clients to use that provide real and practical tools for long term financial forecasting. It’s just common sense!
Our developed financial forecast will link directly to the strategic plan and integrate all of the fundraising components including detailed breakdowns of income and expenditure elements such as communication and staffing budgets. As important, future modelling for detailed and accurate forecasting over multiple years.
So how do you turn the strategic plan into reality? Welcome to the operational plan! This plan allows us to create a logical framework for your programme with real and achievable timing and milestones. We have extensive experience in developing and implementing operational plans and seeing rapid returns. As always, we work in collaboration with your key teams to ensure the process is seamless.
We apply the principle of ‘structure follows strategy’ and acknowledge resource allocation as an absolutely fundamental element and integral component in the strategic planning process. Varying dramatically from organisation to organisation, we collaborate to identify logical, cost-effective and functional allocation across areas including fundraising investment, database capability and of course, staffing.
Case for support
In simple terms, the case for support means ‘the need and reason your organisation is seeking funds.’ As needed and as an essential part of the strategic planning process, we actively and thoroughly review and then develop a case for support. We are delighted to say that for many of our clients, this has been THE critical success factor for their fundraising success. Aligned with this, we also do brand assessments (as required) to help clients position their business and create better market awareness for themselves and their fundraising objectives.
New and yes, even existing fundraising strategies carry both actual and perceived risk. To manage this we actively and comprehensively develop strategies that aid in us identifying and minimising risk. A strategy for a strategy if you like! These risks might include investment, administration or even management risk. By early identification and the development of risk mitigation strategies, risk is analysed and incorporated into the fundraising strategy to ensure it is visible and managed.
Again, an obvious activity often overlooked. There is little point engaging a strategy if there is no evaluation of its effectiveness! Once operating, your plan requires regular and pro-active evaluation. We provide state-of-the-art evaluation tools and train our clients to ensure strategic and operational plans are meeting their goals. To ensure a seamless process, we will continue to support your strategy evaluation by conducting analysis and reviews at regular intervals.