Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking in more detail into an evaluation framework we call the Seven Success Factors. We use this framework to help us analyze fundraising programs, identify opportunities for growth, and spot weaknesses or misalignments that are impeding growth.
We’re kicking this month off with the first success factor, strategy. All too often we find that our clients tend to regard strategy as a few sentences in a vision statement or as a set of performance goals, but strategy has a much deeper importance. Strategy is about clarifying focus: Why do we have this program? What is its core purpose – to raise money, to raise awareness, to inspire advocacy, or something else all together?
A common error is trying to do everything at once, which almost always leads to doing everything poorly. Clarifying the strategy of the program, how it fits within the organization, and the organization’s position in the landscape is the first step towards better performance. Many times our work with clients begins by helping them take this first step in developing a successful program strategy. We focus on this process in a few of our services, including the Comprehensive Program Audit, Bridge, and Rocket Launch.