The Fund Development Plan and the Fund Development Planning Process

Fund Development planning is the exercise of creating an actionable plan to lead fund development efforts. It is a written vision, activities, due dates, and measures around which your fund development work can take place. The goal of the fund development plan is to:

  • identify funding opportunities and resource rich relationships,
  • prioritize those opportunities by likelihood of success, cost, and return; and 
  • begin each using project management principles. 

It is generally suggested to begin the fund development planning process with a meeting of key leaders. The assignment before and during the meeting is to brainstorm funding opportunities. After the opening remarks, introductions, and discussion of the vision of the meeting, start by brainstorming funding opportunities where every leader in attendance shares their ideas for funding the work. After all ideas are recorded on a whiteboard or poster paper, allow the room to define the:

a) cost,

b) return,

c) probability of success, and

d) political or influencing factors related to each idea. See: Environmental Factors.

The goal is to compare each idea on their own merits and assign an objective value to each idea. When completed and the cost, return, probability of success, and influencing factors are defined, allow the room to rate each idea against each other to assign a priority. The goal is to identify the top 5 or 6 ideas and ask for volunteers to lead each idea. When completed, create a project management matrix for the top candidates (goal, measure of success, the top 3-7 activities, due dates for each activity, person responsible for each activity). Then begin the work!

For examples see:

Figure 1

Dispensary of Hope, 2015