and maintain a database of current and potential donors. This will be
used for every area of development. It will be one of the single
greatest tools in your plan. It will need to be updated frequently. All
information MUST remain confidential, therefore access should be limited
to one or two regular staff members. Several software programs have been
written for this purpose. They are expensive but well worth the
investment. A good rule of thumb is to keep donor information on index
cards in alphabetical order until you have 1,000 donors that have
donated $100.00 or more. Then move into a professional donor fundraising
a suitable candidate to type correspondence, thank you letters, and
handle information sent to and from potential donors. As checks begin to
be received it is imperative that donors are thanked immediately. See
our Why you need
to send thank-you letters
section on our
Find someone to assist with the writing and lay-out of brochures,
development, and special event documents for public relations and
development efforts. Professionally printed documents such as brochures
and flyers need to be set up in professionally designed software
programs such as Illustrator or Photoshop. If you don't have a creative designer in-house consider using
our free online design studio where you can do it yourself online.
research and proposal writing should be done by someone who has special
expertise in this area. At the very least many online grant writing
guides are available to help get you started.
is a great resource for proposal writing.
tasks associated with a development effort are numerous and require the
utmost attention to detail. You are dealing with donors and their
finances; everything must be complete and accurate. Do not trust
information or assignments to anyone who is not 100% committed to
insuring the success of your objectives or your reputation will suffer.
Development tasks can be very repetitive (like processing gifts and
database management) others will require great creativity and
progressive thinking (designing brochures, establishing estate planning
organizations can implement a development plan with their current staff
and volunteer base - provided they have the resources to research
professional development strategies. Consultants can be hired to help
with the start-up or as funding resources strengthen experienced staff
may be necessary.
that development is a team approach. It is a long, tireless project
requiring the enthusiasm, dedication and the positive attitudes of
do you need funds?
much do you need?
much should actually be raised?
will raise funds?
should individuals give you their support?