As in any key endeavor, it is important to complete your planning and prepare for the effort that is about to take place. As much as possible, understanding the philanthropic wishes and priorities of a donor (of any type) will enhance the building of relationships and increase the chances of gaining financial support. It is also important to understand the level to which the organization is ready to move forward in fundraising. This may include infrastructure elements such as staff, number of volunteers, board involvement and commitment, financial record-keeping systems, and availability of a fundraising database.

Imagine you have just been hired as the fundraising director of a nonprofit organization for which you work or with which you are familiar. Assume this organization has not undertaken any formal fundraising planning in the past 5 years.

Write a statement to the board of directors on the importance of investing in a fundraising planning process. Explain to the board how you would use marketing research to explore why donors have stopped giving to your selected organization.


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