On the whole, fundraising is a “long game”—a marathon, not a sprint. Creating one-year, three-year and five-year plans help ensure you will fulfill your mission, vision and strategic plan. But, from time to time, you need to have a short-term plan. What would you do to fulfill a challenge grant in a limited time or find yourself with a large, but unplanned expense? Do you have a nonprofit emergency fund?
MJA Challenge: How would handle a short term need for $5,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000 (for instance the building next door goes up for sale)?
If you are shrugging your shoulders and figuring you will cross that bridge if, as and when you get to it–it’s time to create a contingency plan. Write down a list of prospects with whom you could speak about a nonprofit emergency fund to determine a way forward, who could engage with them to manage the relationship and how much you would ask them for—either in absolute dollar terms or as a proportion of the amount to be raised. Then, after you have vetted the plan with your leadership, put it in the drawer for when “what if” becomes a real opportunity or challenge.