When needing to construct a fundraising strategy, there are a number of steps that need to be taken beginning with having answers for these questions. Rule of thumb may be that bigger the project and the ask, the more detail available here the better.
- Does the organisation have an articulated and shared vision of how it wants the world to be (ie, the benefit to the world/ clients and the outcomes it wants to achieve and the impact it wants to make)?
- Does the organisation have a good understanding/ analysis of the reality of the external context within which it is operating (ie, Trends/ Issues/ Priorities/ Problems/ Challenges/ Needs analysis) – The Strategic Gap?
- Does the organisation have a coherent strategic/ operational plan (values/ goal/ mission/ aims/ objectives/ targets/ clear responsibilities/ timeline/ exit or sustainability strategy)?
- Does the organisation have a foundational understanding of why it is the only organisation which can deliver this work (ie, distinctiveness without duplication nor competition/ credible history in the area/ work/ a real story of outcomes/ impact to tell/ beneficiaries’ acknowledgement and affirmation)?
- Does the organisation have a detailed analysis of its internal reality and what it requires if its plan is to be delivered and vision fulfilled (ie, governance, finance – whole cost budget/ income, human, physical, partnerships, etc)
- Does the organisation have good evaluation, accountability and learning systems and processes for the management of the whole which ensures the vision and impact/ benefit is effectively achieved AND partners (Funders, etc) informed/ included (ie, clearly identified and named responsibilities/ roles + named person to be responsible for overseeing all of the above)?
After this foundational information is available, then begin to look at funding mechanisms, etc; about which more later.