Creating a Fund Development Plan

Fund development is the strategic positioning by which an organization grows and sustains resources through building and maintaining relationships with key community stakeholders , philanthropist, and others who understand and care about the organization mission and its overall impact to the community.

Sound fund development plans are built on two main factors: relationships that
continually strengthen connections between people
and the mission of the organization. These two factors help nonprofits carry out development plans that have great impact. Both take considerable time and effort. A significant percentage, at least 20% of an executive director’s work week should be devoted to fund development. The time allotment grows substantially, as much as 80%, if the executive director also functions as the primary development staff member.

To effectively strengthen your fund development, you must be able to make your case for support to the community and key stakeholders.

Building relationships that stick requires developing a shared vision, coherent articulation of mission, creative strategies, and a solid communication plan. To create a good development plan for support you will first need to create a case for support.

Making a Case for Support involves several steps. We’ve listed 5 to get you started:

  1. Describe your organization’s relevance to the community.
  2. Align the organization’s inner circle — the staff, board, and volunteers to the organizations mission.
  3. Define the key programs, and activities to fulfill your mission.
  4. Make clear connections between the organization’s core cause and the interests of donors, and other community stakeholders.
  5. List all the resources that will be required such as the staff , activity scheduling, equipment, facilities needed, and the administrative overhead needed to run the program.

What are some of your funding goals?

Having funding goals will help guide you in the overall development of your organization and give you more information on the capacity your organization can handle as well as the type of funding your organization would do best with

Make sure to include your board members in the plan and recruit for their total participation. Creating a fund development plan takes time and energy, but it truly pays off in the end. Being knowledgeable about your organization’s current state, future goals, and the appropriate funding sources to pursue will greatly increase your chances of being funded and the overall financial health of your organization as a whole.

Need help with funding? Create goals and go for them!

Written by Stephen Raburn, Consultant

To get assistance with creating or implementing a fund development plan for your nonprofit, write us at or go to the “contact us” page.

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Published by The Empowerment Center LLC

We are a business empowerment consulting firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. We provide economic empowerment services to nonprofit and public sector businesses to include grant writing, development and consulting.

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