Organisations have to position themselves for support in order to attract resources. Any relationship that an organisation builds with the outside world should reflect its internal values and beliefs. Positioning an organisation for support is a deliberate strategy that uses your unique characteristics and demonstrated success, to ensure on-going support.
Here are ten of the key questions you can ask to check that you are on the right path:
1. Do you know who you are?
Are your organisation and the people who work in it absolutely clear on your mission, goals, capacity for delivery and desired outcomes? Can they 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?
Do you know exactly what the organisation needs and/or requires for the next three month, one year, three year or even 5 year periods. Does everyone understand what is required today in order 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 and for growth in our country? And, if you do know the value, do you communicate it appropriately and sufficiently?
4. Do you know what makes your organisation unique?
Do you know if your organisation is unique? How is it unique and how do you communicate this? Do you use it 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? Organisations can shift from their core vision and mission. If there is disparity between your vision and mission and your development plan, then something must change so that your organisation speaks and acts with one voice.
7. Is your Governing Board on board?
Your board of trustees/directors/governors must be in agreement with what you are doing and your organisations plans for the future. 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 open doors for building 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 the amounts that need to be raised, projects to be prioritised, potential sectors to be solicited, giving programmes to be established and individuals or donors 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 current and potential stakeholders – donors, partners, collaborators, staff members? A communication plan can include newsletters, a website, public comment on issues that affect your work, mailing campaigns, etc. Do you talk about what you do? Do you leverage your successes to generate interest, volunteers, funding and expertise?