An organisation has to position itself for investment. The relationship that an organisation has with the external world should reflect the internal values and beliefs of the organisation and will determine how well resources can be attracted to it.
Positioning your organisation for investment is a deliberate strategy that uses your unique characteristics and demonstrated success to ensure on-going support for your organisation.
TEN KEY QUESTIONS YOU WILL NEED TO ASK TO CONFIRM THAT YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH ARE:
1. DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
Is your organisation and the people who work in it and support it absolutely clear on what your mission, goals, capacity for delivery and desired outcomes are. Can anyone state these confidently and clearly? Does everyone use this as a gauge against which they measure their activities, behaviour, new concepts and responsibilities?
2. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT?
Are you absolutely sure that you know exactly what the organisation needs and/or requires for the next three months/ one year/ three years and perhaps even five years? Does everyone understand what is required today to ensure that tomorrow’s goals are reached? Do you know what resources you will need? Are your requirements prioritised?
3. DO YOU KNOW THE VALUE OF WHAT YOU DO?
Do you know the value of the work that you do for your beneficiaries, for the sector in which you work, for society in general, for human integrity and for growth in your country of operation? And if you do know the value do you communicate it appropriately and sufficiently (see question 10)?
4. DO YOU KNOW WHAT GIVES YOUR ORGANISATION THE EDGE?
Do you know if your organisation is unique in what it does? Do you know how you are different from similar organisations? Do you understand what your competitive edge is? Do you communicate that edge? Do you use it positively to motivate people to support you?
5. DO YOU HAVE A DEVELOPMENT PLAN?
A development plan is the map that will get you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. It outlines the resources, people, capacity, strategies and activities that will move your organisation forward.
6. DOES THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FIT WITH YOUR VISION AND MISSION?
Are you absolutely sure that what you are doing fits with what you say you do? Frequently organisations, particularly non-profits, shift from their original core vision and mission. There are many good reasons for this – but if there is disparity between your vision, your mission and your development plan, then something must change so that your organisation speaks and acts with coherence.
7. IS YOUR GOVERNING BOARD ON BOARD?
Your board of trustees/directors/governors must be completely in agreement with what you are doing, your plans for the future, and how you intend to resource such plans. A governing board should consist of people who are able to give strategic direction and leadership, serve as high level ambassadors for your organisation and serve as “door openers” for attracting resources. They have to be your champions.
8. IS YOUR LEADERSHIP ON BOARD?
An organisation that is positioned for success has a management team that is active, engaged, motivated and motivating. They lead from the front and are fully vested in the successful operation and management of your organisation.
9. DO YOU HAVE A FUNDRAISING PLAN?
A fundraising plan details how much you need, what you need it for and how you intend to get it. It will specify amounts to be raised, projects to be prioritised, potential sectors to be solicited, giving programmes to be established, and individuals to be approached. It is the blueprint by which the Advancement programme will be measured and evaluated.
10. DO YOU HAVE A COMMUNICATION PLAN?
Does your organisation communicate appropriately and regularly with all of its stakeholders (current and potential)? Do you have a newsletter, a website? Does your organisation comment publically on issues that affect your work? Do you have mailing campaigns? Do you keep in regular and appropriate contact with your donors, partners, collaborators, staff members? Do you talk about what you do? Do you have a social media presence? Do you leverage your successes to generate interest, volunteers, funding, expertise? Do you communicate?
Reference: An Advancement Handbook: Tips and Tools for Resource Mobilisation from Inyathelo’s Advancement Perspective