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Revenue Plan to Fit Your Strategic Plan

Nonprofit organizations generally do a good job building a Strategic Plan.

The Board of Directors works with the Chief Executive Officer to identify a competent consultant to facilitate the plan process. The group decides what internal and external resources and markets need to be examined to design a Plan that addresses needs of the nonprofit primary customers: the clients and others who benefit most from the work of the organization.  If there are no sacred cows, if the environmental scan is based on data that impacts the customer base, odds are good that a sound Plan will follow.

But then will come implementation.  And for there to be solid execution of a sound Strategic Plan, the resources of this nonprofit will need to be aligned with the Plan goals.  Plain and simple.

Some program activities may need to be dropped because they’re not relevant in the current customer and market environment.

And the CEO needs to do some revenue planning to line up the resources…actual and potential….and how steps will be staged year-to-year during the life of the Strategic Plan to generate revenue so the Plan comes to fruition.

The Revenue Plan is not just about fundraising.  There are fee-for-service considerations, grant considerations, cause-related-marketing considerations.  Does the nonprofit have access to the expertise to plan this out?  Having just come out of a Strategic process with a paid consultant, it can be a tough sell for the Board to buy the idea of investing another chunk of fancy change for an expert to help shape the Revenue piece.

Think about it for a second. Maybe even a minute.  Investment in expertise can pay dividends for the nonprofit. To get beyond Planning to Execution.  This is why so many organization founder after they have a Plan which ends up on the proverbial “shelf.”  There’s likely new stuff to do in the Plan.  And “new” can benefit from some new, outside thinking.

For small to mid-size nonprofits (budgets under $5 million) bringing a consultant in to advise on steps to generate the $$ that’ll get the nonprofit where it wants to go can be money well spent.  For the bigger kids on the block, the staff team and development committee in place may have the brain and muscle power to get the Revenue job done.

The important lesson from this is: When the Strategic Plan is in the can, the work is not done. It’s only just begun. And investment in execution, particularly in generating revenue, can get the necessary returns that’ll get the Plan off on the right foot.

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