Does Your Organization’s Development Plan Need Refreshing?

In an era where nonprofits can be sharply criticized by donors and watchdog organizations for spending too much on fundraising, some nonprofits shy away from making critical investments in their development efforts—investments which, in the long run, could substantially impact their financial stability.

We’ve created a checklist below with questions that organizations should consider when determining whether their overall development plan needs refreshing. While not all of the questions can be weighed equally, if you answer “No” to more than five, it may be a sign that your organization needs to strategically reassess its plan.

Y  N Is fundraising seen as the lifeblood of your organization?
 Y  N Is your development department stable and able to achieve key fundraising objectives?
 Y  N Does your organization regularly review its development plan?
 Y  N Does your organization annually consider how effectively it’s achieving its mission?
 Y  N When reviewing your plan, are you considering the changing demographics of your organization’s donor base and proactively addressing these changes?
 Y  N Have you discussed new ways to reach potential donors and advocates in the last two years?
 Y  N Are your fundraising materials current?
 Y  N Have your recently introduced a new fundraising campaign?
 Y  N Do you have an online giving program?
 Y  N Do you have a mobile giving platform?
 Y  N Have you planned or conducted a social media fundraising campaign?
 Y  N Do you offer opportunities for potential donors and advocates to get involved in activities that directly fulfill your mission?
 Y  N Is your organization flexible and responsive to new fundraising trends and tactics?
 Y  N If your organization is experiencing declining donations, does it have a strategic plan in place for increasing contributions?

If you need assistance evaluating your development plan, please contact a Templeton Advisor.

This article originally appeared in BDO USA, LLP’s “Nonprofit Standard” newsletter (Spring 2015). Copyright © 2014 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved.