The Advancement functions of an entity must be positioned as part of the leadership structure to ensure that efforts to attract support are strategically synthesised into the entity’s image, marketing, communications, resourcing and positioning.

As Advancement is externally facing in its function and approach, an entity’s annual Advancement plan should include a range of activities such as, for example:

Relationship mapping: research into the entity’s external relationships such as the media, alumni, business, government, international agencies, etc.

Relationship building: with targeted individuals, foundations, corporates and government, amongst others.

Researching potential donors: this is the basis of any Advancement plan as it enables the entity to match its requirements and its values with those of a potential supporter.

Fundraising: having identified the specific projects that are a priority for the entity, developing specific fundraising campaigns, including an annual fund targeting individuals and programmes to attract corporate and private philanthropic giving.

Donor recognition: development of a donor recognition policy, for example, to provide guidelines about what can and cannot be offered to donors.

Monitoring and Evaluation: developing a framework and workflows for monitoring and evaluating funded projects – for internal learning, for donor reporting and for storytelling.

Donor management and stewardship: a system to ensure reports are sent out timeously and that the donor experience of the entity is well managed and positive.

Communications and marketing: a full range of communications activities related to marketing the institution, sharing stories, and creating a strong platform from which the entity can present itself.