What are the main parts of a development plan?

Social impact organizations can, and often do, achieve short-term fundraising goals without a plan. Over time, however, development planning within a larger context becomes essential for long-term success.

Just as organizations change, their development plans should start with a simple outline of what is happening, what is needed, what works, and why. As priorities and needs grow, development plans should adjust to incorporate more information and more details.

So where to begin? Consider the following elements. Look at the parts that are appropriate and relevant for your organization now, with an aim to include other pieces over time when neccessary and useful.

  • Organization Goals: What does the organization want and expect from funding and support?
  • Purpose Statement: What type of development does the organization seek?: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention, Stabilization, Diversification, Growth, Sustainability
  • Fundraising Background: What type of funding is best for us and why?
  • Funding Rationale: Why the organization uses specific funding types / sources
  • Funding Analysis: Are current funding / revenue sources sustainable? What additional types of funding Is needed / wanted?
  • Income Streams: Programs, services, and projects generating revenue
  • Opportunity Areas: Where will we explore additional / new funding?
  • Challenge Areas: Who Else Is Doing What We Do?
  • Values Statement: What type of funding is / is not consistent with our organization’s values?
  • Proposed Development Methods: How the organization is currently funded — grants, donors, etc.
  • Timeline: What has been done, what is happening, what will happen with each income / revenue channel and new funding sources?
  • Key Roles and Responsibilities: Who is our fundraising team? What are the specific roles and responsibilities?
  • Evaluating Results: How, Where, When do we review the results and communicate our progress?
  • Budget History summary: Past 1-3 years
  • Budget Forecast summary: Next 2-3 years