January is a popular time for setting goals. I'm a strong believer in planning but also keep in mind what President Eisenhower often said, plans are useless, planning is essential.
That means using the planning process to create the conditions for fundraising and broader organizational success. Most importantly, engage your external stakeholders, those who have a 'stake' in your work, by defining and sharing one or more compelling narratives. This is not just about telling a good story or developing creative collateral material. You want to lay out your plans, state what it will take to advance your mission and how it is all relevant to them.
Helping your most ardent supporters understand how your mission serves to advance THEIR interests is an ongoing process. However, the ability to connect their resources of time, expertise, social/professional networks and of course, money, to what is important to THEM, is one of the most effective ways to build a loyal following AND raise more money.
In the end, fundraising is about empowering and engaging those around us - board members, executive and other staff, funders, friends, family, local community residents, vendors, etc. - because successful resource development must be everyone's plan.
Founder and President, Melarbit Partners, Inc.