Strategic Planning, Fund Raising Plans, Organizational Assessment, Development Audits

VISION, MISSION & STRATEGIC PLANNING

The act of revisiting mission and vision is critical to developing a successful strategic plan, and is integral to Resource Development’s strategic-planning service.

Even when conduced with no other type of planning or review, however, reaffirming mission and/or vision usually unearths important strategic questions. Thus, our “visioning” and “mission” services are designed so they can be employed either isolated from or in conjunction with a planning process. 

Mission

Mission statement creation or re-visitation brings into focus the values of your organization and why it exists.  A participatory process engaging key stakeholders utilizes a skilled facilitator who ensures an end product broad enough to allow for growth and expansion, but narrow enough to keep the organization clearly and strongly focused.

The process typically spans several months, depending on size and diversity of the organization, and generally includes the following:

  • Selection of the Mission Statement Writing Team
  • Clarification of core values
  • Review of underlying strategies
  • Evaluation of current mission statement
  • Draft statement
  • Circulation, review and modification
  • Adoption of the new statement
    ….

Vision 

Vision statement development, independent from a planning process, may be prompted by

  • a new mission statement
  • lack of an agreed-on vision for the future
  • staff and board changes indicate new leaders require a vision of their own
  • external or internal factors make the current statement invalid.
    …..

The process requires the participation of staff, volunteers, trustees, customers and community representatives in order to ensure the end product describes a vision shared by all key stakeholders.

The process typically spans several months during which time history is reviewed and the desired future is identified; all or some of the following may be employed:                 

  • Forums/meeting
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Expert testimony
  • Research, reports, environmental sca
    ….

A six-step process is employed:

  • Selection of the Vision Statement writing team
  • Generation of alternative visions
  • Identification of common themes
  • Drafting of the vision statement
  • Circulation, review and modifications
  • Adopting of the statement
    …..

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning facilitation provides flexibility, sensitivity to budget and time constraints and attention to unique client, staff, board and volunteer demographics.  Resource Development’s experienced staff and organization-stakeholders work together to produce a meaningful, workable blueprint for future success.  Services include:

  • Updating of existing plans
  • Development of new plans, including:
          –
    conducting the “planning-to-plan” process
          –
    gathering internal and external data
          –
    developing mission and vision statements
          –
    assessing client needs
          –
    exploring external-market opportunities and threats
          –
    identifying and evaluating strategic-alliance opportunities
          –
    analyzing fiscal and fund-development functions
          –
    assessing staff development/retention issues
          –
    preparing reports, summaries and collateral materials
  • Development of implementation plans
  • Assessment of organization/board structure
  • Development of materials and orientation-training for trustees,  committee-chairs and volunteers
  • Counsel/mentoring in leadership roles required in managing change for board chair, planning chair and executive director.
    …..

Abbreviated, Issue-Focused Plans offer an alternative to the traditional, often lengthy, planning process.  Designed to meet the needs of organizations responding quickly to environmental changes, veteran planners provide streamlined methods for framing issues within today’s competitive markets.

Board and Staff Retreats clarify issues, operating goals and funding objectives.  The Resource Development team helps plan and guide the process and prepares a written report of results.  Expert facilitators optimize planning time and add objectivity and perspective to the planning process.

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A DEVELOPMENT AUDIT

seeks to assess the fund-raising efforts of an organization, to identify the development department’s most critical issues, and to recommend an agenda for beginning to address these issues.

Resource Development uses the American Institute of Management’s recognized audit standards.  Generally, the following categories are evaluated:

  • Development office planning
  • Development office organization
  • Development office staffing
  • Development office control
  • Records and Research
  • Fund-Raising volunteers
  • Cultivation activities
  • Rating and solicitation practices
  • Acknowledgment and recognition
  • Clerical and office support
  • Communications
    …..

The audit employs evaluation based on congruence between actual performance and generally accepted standards of performance.  Three types of evidence are used:  (1) records;  (2) testimony;  (3) observation.

The role of the study director is as follows:

  1. To conduct confidential interviews with appropriate volunteers, trustees, staff and administrators
  2. To conduct on-site evaluations of systems, records, equipment and environment to prepare an audit report, including recommendations for improving the overall program and/or meeting new challenges, as well as a plan of action for increased contributions.

The organization assumes the following responsibilities:  (1) providing program information and detailed, documented financial information;  (2) scheduling interviews;  (3) thanking study participants.

An agreed-upon fee, determined in advance, is based on the audit’s scope and the number of interviews and on-site visits required.

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