Strategies for Success

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

In any fundraising project, including a successful campaign, a member of the team must think through the necessary steps to make sure every “i” is dotted, and every “t” is crossed. Getting down in the weeds with details and deadlines can be tedious, but someone needs to do it: a failure to plan is a plan to fail.

Here’s a big-picture point of view of how to plan for a successful campaign:

Identify the roles of each team member

A successful campaign team requires a variety of talents and perspectives, including visionaries who can see the end result before the planning ever begins. The team will also need strategists who can take the dream and break it down into the steps required to achieve the goal. And don’t forget the support team that comes alongside and asks critical questions that may be challenging in the moment, but save time in the long run.

Establish a timeline, tasks and deadlines

Regardless of the role, each team member should be responsible for meeting assigned due dates. If the visionaries solidify the dream, the strategists can develop the action plan. If the action plan is finalized on time, it is possible for the detail-doers to meet the envisioned deadline. And when that happens, dreams become reality.

Respect and understand each other’s roles

If one person, or part of the team, does not meet the objectives on time, everyone else’s tasks are made more difficult. Detail-oriented team members may not fully appreciate a visionary’s style and skills. And big dreamers can view some as “overthinkers.” Still, they need each other to keep things moving forward.

Respect and appreciation for every member of the team’s roles, no matter where individuals fall in the organizational hierarchy, is critical. Each role is interdependent on another. When one fails, everyone fails.

Whether it is a campaign, solicitation, signature event, strategic plan or any other fundraising task, here’s the plan: prepare ahead to define the roles, adhere to the deadlines and show respect for one another’s unique talents and perspectives. Then, plan the celebration.

Ashle-Burnett-web-7 1
Ashle Burnett

Business Development and Support Services Associate

Wichita, Kan.

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