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Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, Third Edition by Simone P. Joyaux

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Make Sure Your Organization Is Relevant to the Community

Your organization’s relevance to the community significantly affects your ability to fundraise. More importantly, your organization’s relevance to the community justifies your organization’s existence. And the process of strategic planning defines—and can renew—your relevance.

Think of it this way: Your organization’s internal relations—what I call the first relationship—provides the foundation for good fund development. Strategic planning—the second relationship—provides the framework for good fund development.

Strategic planning defines your relationship with the community and provides the frame for all other organizational activities. Just ask yourself: How can we raise money without knowing:

  • Why our organization matters—and what results we produce that make a difference.
  • Where we are going—and why that direction.
  • How we will get there by doing what.
  • How much it will cost.
  • How all this fits in with community needs and priorities.
  • How our organization fits in with other groups in the community.
  • Who might be interested in the needs we meet and the results we produce.

An organization’s strategic plan establishes direction. The written plan clarifies where the organization is going, how it will get there, and why gifts will help. The plan generally describes a vision for the future and a blueprint for action. With this delineation of vision, direction, and action, the fundraiser can seek charitable contributions.

But strategic ...

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