Have you ever said that to anyone? I do frequently these days, more as a response to advice that some have gathered from various places (meaning the internet.) There is tons of advice out there, from people who both know and don’t know what they are talking about.
The space between an idea and results is one that must be filled with plans, schedules, benchmarks, and evaluations. “Why don’t we have a casino night” as a way to increase funds is a great idea, but how does it happen?
The Internet Is Not Always Helpful
Reading Linked In discussions, answering or inquiring on Quora and other sites will provide lots and lots of ideas, but precious little about how to make them successful. In a previous post, I dissected the hand waving suggestions of the author and asked how to actually make the recommendations that he had real. Planning is hard, but is the one thing that can make that great idea give you what you seek.
Planning takes several stages, from the conceptual to the practical; I like to separate those stages like this:
What is it you ultimately want?
- Why do you want this, and how does it serve your mission?
- What is the way you want to get it? An event, a program, an initiative?
- Who is to organize, lead and manage this, and to see it through to the end?
How will this be done?
- What is the exact goal?
- How much will this cost, remember time is a cost as much as money
- What other resources will this require
- What are the possible challenges or obstacles could you face
What do you do tomorrow, and the day after that?
- Who do you call tomorrow?
- What do you need to write?
- What records do you need to keep?
- Other planned, scheduled, targeted activities…
There are few things more disappointing than watching a good idea fall apart. Disappointment can reverberate among the participants, donors and guests. Approach new ideas with this yardstick and allow yourself to err on the side of planning. Give yourself a little insurance with a day or two folded in for inevitable 24 hour flu, massive traffic or lost file.
Taking a great idea to proud results is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world Get in touch here or call us on 310 828 6979 and let us help you achieve that.
Cindy Lauren is the Principal of Lauren Associates – non profit consulting
As well as advising Executives and Boards on all aspects of nonprofit management, the firm specializes in developing fundraising solutions for all sizes of organizations.
Battle Orders by Chris Turner Photography on Flickr.