Do Me First! The Critical First Step in Developing an Income Strategy

Most nonprofits know where they want to go. Like New Englanders in January, everyone agrees, they want to go south in February. Likewise, your nonprofit may agree that your “south” is to improve the quality of the bay water, the readiness of children for kindergarten or the lives of people with developmental disabilities. While you may know the direction, effective planning demands that you stop and clarify the coordinates of your destination. After all, Miami, Tucson, and the Caribbean are south of Connecticut, as are Brasilia, South Africa, and Newark.

What, for example, does it mean to help people with developmental disabilities to live better lives? Your plans will be more fruitful, and execution swifter, if you develop specifics. It matters if you’re talking about housing, employment, family relations, or health matters. It matters if your talking housing for young adults or seniors. Different destination requires different plans. Different destinations point to different revenue opportunities.

Knowing your destination allows you to draw a straight line to it from where you are. Clear plans reduce expensive meandering, false starts, and misguided efforts. Specific goals create energy at the start of planning and reduce dissension as you approach the goal. You need the energy for fuel for the work ahead.

Today’s Challenge

Think about one of your goals. How detailed is your vision? Do you see a vague outline or can you describe the foyer? Add some details and share them with a donor, foundation, or board members. Let me know what you learn.


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