- On Assignment in an Interim Development Role
- Planning with Intention
- Using Metrics to Understand Your Email Impact (Part 2)
- Improving Your Email Campaigns (Part 1)
- Corporations and Foundations: Tips on Connecting and Building Relationships with Institutions
- How To Connect with Donors Even When Times Are Tough
- Why Your Board Is Not Giving And How To Shift Tactics
- What Were the “Lessons Learned”?
Planning with Intention
January 23, 2024
I’ve spent the first few weeks of the year changing it up and working from Colorado. Yes, we’re late to ‘work from anywhere’ but as many of you know my husband and I have just been empty nesters since last fall and so this is the first time we’ve been able to take advantage of it. Which is a long way to go to get to the point of this first blog of 2024 on planning with intention.
Planning with Intention for Impactful Fundraising in 2024
At Focus, we spend a lot of time working with our clients on development and campaign plans, donor outreach plans, and appeal or event plans. Each one of these activities has to start with a vision, and then step-by-step we get granular toward goals and tactics. “Intention” comes in when you not only have a strategy and goal but also a clear vision for future outcomes.
If you haven’t yet, take some time to envision the impact you want to have this year. Whether it's reaching new fundraising milestones, expanding outreach to new prospects, or launching an innovative campaign, set clear and inspiring intentions to propel you forward.
Setting Intentions for Fundraising Success
Whether you’re at the start of your fiscal year (oh the promise of the first month of the first quarter!), mid-way through the year, or somewhere in between, think through your big picture and ALSO what you want to happen this month, next month, next quarter. How are you going to build off of your 2023 successes, or make shifts to deal with challenges that came your way?
Setting intentions involves going beyond identifying objectives and articulating a clear, purpose-driven path toward achieving them. These intentions will act as guiding principles, steering your strategies and decisions (and helping you identify where you don’t want to go). They’ll provide a roadmap for donor engagement, campaign development, and outreach initiatives, ensuring that action is purposeful and contributes to the overarching vision.
And, while we at Focus are all about making sure you’re maximizing your development efforts and raising the most you can, don’t forget your personal plan.
Month-by-Month Momentum: Incorporating Short-Term Intentions into Long-Term Plans
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the grand scale of annual objectives, but the magic often lies in your day-to-day victories and incremental progress. You know the saying, the devil is in the details? In fundraising, if you aren’t able to get in front of your execution plans, they often end up muddled or derailed.
The concept of month-by-month momentum encourages you to shift your perspective. Think about your long-term goals but break them down into manageable, actionable steps for every month.
I suggest you start each month by revisiting your overarching vision for the year, but then hone in on what specific strides you can make in the coming weeks. Identify key focus areas, whether it's cultivating relationships with potential donors, launching a campaign, or refining internal processes.
By incorporating short-term intentions into your long-term plans, you create a dynamic, ever-changing strategy that celebrates each win. This approach not only ensures a steady flow of achievements but also allows for adjustments as you go, enabling you to stay agile in the face of unexpected challenges or opportunities.
What will be different about 2024 for you?
Don’t let this year wilt before it even gets going. Think about where you want to go, what you want to do for fun (remember that word!?), how you’ll work differently, and what you can do to make things happen.
I like the start of this year so far. We’ve got a lot of big stuff coming with an election year and all of the uncertainty that brings, so make sure to get your planning done early!