I was delighted to be invited to ask a series of questions on my favourite subject, fundraising strategy, at #CharityHour on Twitter recently. The answers were so excellent that I am capturing them in separate blogs. For more superb insight and answers to these questions, please get your ticket to the Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit on 18 March, 2021!
Here was question 3:
What can charities do to ensure their fundraising strategy stays live and doesn’t just sit on the shelf after finishing it?
1. It’s all about actions
Make it 'actionable' – be clear what the actual actions that get the work done are, and who will be doing them. Also make sure the person who owns it keeps sharing and referencing it so that wider teams realise it's live and relevant to everything! #CharityHour— Rosie Oldham (@RosieOldham8) February 24, 2021
2. Above all talk about it
Report on it, get Trustees involved, discuss it with colleagues, add it to dashboards, relate it to deliverables and above all talk about it. It’s just like any other plan – if it’s stored in the cabinet then it’ll gather dust and become irrelevant. #CharityHour— RIDEWISE UK (@RideWiseUK) February 24, 2021
3. Actions again!
Q4: Make it actionable! Once you know the what and how, you assign everyone a ‘do’ ! 🙂 #CharityHour— ?Dominique Saks ? (@Dominique_Saks) February 24, 2021
4. Reflect on successes and failures
#charityhour evaluate/reflect/learn from the positives and the negatives. Just as you involve all in the development involve all in the reflection/evaluation as all perspectives of success and failures will be different and bring learning for the next strategy— Baby Basics (@BabyBasicsUK) February 24, 2021
5. Some good ideas here
Not trying to do everything in one go – especially with a long-term plan or strategy.— Simon Pittman (@LibraryPlayer) February 24, 2021
Perhaps some of the plan can be put together as a wall-chart, graphics, etc. that can be put up on the noticeboard (or an Intranet site home page) – being creative! 🙂#CharityHour
6. Talk and learn
7. Report back and update it
I found updating on it regularly to the rest of the organisation worked well for me. Transparency is the best form of accountability. Also I noticed a difference when I did a lot more regular forecasting according to strategy as well. Made me far more confident in changing course— Alexander Kenmure (@idlehands12) February 24, 2021
8. Get it on one side!
Never developed a strategy which can’t fit on one page, you’ll never run the risk of ‘putting it on the shelf. #CutOutTheCrap— Julian John ? (@Julian_John_) February 24, 2021
9. Plant metaphor alert
Think of it as part of the team, it needs to be checked on, managed appropriately for its needs, fed, watered and given sunlight. Treat it like the living situation it is, without it you cannot succeed.— 15 Square (@15__Square) February 24, 2021
10. Keep sharing
#charityhour Not just fundraising strategy but all strategies, policies, documents, plans need to be live documents and shared openly with all involved. The only things that should be set are current priorities (with an expiry/renewal date)— Nest + Grow (@nestandgrowcic) February 24, 2021
11. Another great answer from Donna
Does a #fundraising strategy ever make it on the shelf? It may transform into a new strategy over time as priorities shift. But to keep past iterations relevant, you need a range of data to analyse to keep questioning what’s working and what should be optimised. ?#CharityHour > https://t.co/iasaSSBkIZ— Donna White (@dmhwhite) February 24, 2021
12. Own it
So glad to see this question @richardsved! I see it so often. A good sign that it's not working is when it's only taken out for board reports.— Lucy Stone (MCIOF) (@Lucy_Stone) February 24, 2021
Ownership & shared ambition of the strategy goes a long way.
And celebration! Don't forget to celebrate the successes! #charityhour https://t.co/QTUK9aq3fj pic.twitter.com/ljm8ZXbqWL
13. Keep it unfinished
Never complete it. When something relevant happens, update it, change version number, online available for everyone, subject to regular review against progress. Doesn’t have to be mega detail or reports, but you do need to do it. #CharityHour https://t.co/YQXol3whvU— Ian McLintock (@ian_mcl) February 24, 2021
Thank you, Tahera, for inviting me on to #CharityHour. More great answers!