By Steffani Lautenschlager, MEd, CFRE, Senior Consultant

The start of the new year brings a chance to refresh our habits, set or reset goals, and start with a clean slate as we enter 2022. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had more years than I can count that I’ve set big audacious personal goals and proclaimed them proudly out loud on December 31, only to have them be forgotten about 12 months later or only accomplished for the first part of the year.

What caused those resolutions to fail year after year? There wasn’t a detailed plan. There were aspirations, even a vision on how it would make an impact 12 months later, and maybe even some thoughts on a few actions that could get us there. Often for me, my resolutions would be to exercise more, eat better, or drink more water. There are actions and intentions clearly stated in these resolutions, but I still lacked a 12-month intentional plan. Ultimately, it would be another New Year’s resolution that wouldn’t be attained (or often even remembered).

In fundraising, we can’t hope that gifts just magically come in to help us grow our income. The funding can’t come in if we don’t have the relationships established, the intentional solicitations and stewardship planned, and a full understanding of what our donors are willing to do to impact our mission.

Annual development plans are essential to not only projecting and budgeting for the income you can raise, but they also supply the detailed road map on how to drive to your goal. Understanding the actions that have to take place to achieve your end results with each special initiative, event, and solicitation will set you up for success. It will instill intentional movement towards your goals, and it will positively influence how your team performs. Even better!? Your donors will know the difference they made and won’t feel like an ATM when you ask them for their support.

Annual development plans include:

  • Fund initiatives and strategies based on the mission and resources available
  • Targeted goals for expense, income, and cost per dollar raised (CDR) for each strategy
  • Master development calendar that includes stewardship and solicitation plans
  • Monthly revenue projections and strategies

Strong annual development plans will use metrics from prior years, while also incorporating the relational data to establish the goals. It will be a plan that you use weekly, if not daily, to create ongoing intentional actions that are constantly moving you forward.

While our company’s name is Let’s Build Hope, it has nothing to do with building hope that we can raise more money for our missions. We know that there are amazing nonprofits in our region and around the world that have specific focuses to change what’s happening in their social service sector. Our vision is that if we help nonprofits learn how to execute fundraising plans, they can grow their income, donor base, and ultimately their impact. We know intentional fundraising works.

Whether your organization runs on a calendar year or fiscal year, this can be your month that you create a plan to reach your fundraising goals. You can be intentional in your efforts and lead your team, Board, and Development Committee members to be intentional with you. The results will be powerful reminders of why you put the work in to create a detailed plan. You, along with your organization, team, and donors will experience the difference. Now, that’s a resolution worth keeping.

Want to discuss your 2022 development plan and goals?
​​Contact us at (314) 716-2496 or

#LBH #IntentionalFundraising #2022Resolutions #AnnualDevelopmentPlans #LetsBuildHope #GlimmersOfHope #Blog

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