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Creating an Effective Development Plan

Updated: Oct 24, 2023



Creating a Development Plan can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time making one. A great plan captures current state and future (stretch) goals while staying realistic and specific. Here are a few tips to help you create an effective Development Plan that will help you raise more revenue!





  1. Set Realistic Goals We'd all love to have an extra Million dollars, but make sure before you put stretch fundraising goals in your plan that you have specific staff, board members, or volunteers who can help you achieve your fundraising goals.

  2. Set SMART Goals The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Ensuring your goals are SMART keeps the project moving forward, helps with accountability and timing, and allows you to easily measure progress.

  3. Share the Plan It's important that everyone knows the development plan- staff and board members. Oftentimes the development goals involve all departments: programs, marketing, communications, and operations, and sharing the development goals helps keep everyone on the same page.

  4. Look at it Often Once you create a plan, look at it weekly or monthly. Make notes and mark complete if a goal is accomplished. A plan is only as good as the attention it gets!

  5. Report Progress Share your progress with staff and board members often. This could be quarterly, bi-monthly, or monthly- depending on how often your board meets. Sharing progress will help keep you accountable and others informed on how they can help.


If you want to create a development plan that helps you increase revenue and engage donors better, I'd love to help! Book a FREE 30-minute discovery call today.





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