At Dogwood Philanthropy Group, our core belief is that successful fundraising depends on effective communication. We also believe that the best communication starts with good planning, and good communications planning is key to fundraising success.
The communications plan is your roadmap that guides you to where you need to be. Our task is to help you get there each step at a time. We begin with a review of your existing communications programs and conduct a communications audit to understand your organization’s communications activities and how they coincide with your fundraising strategies and your overall organizational goals. Based on the assessment, we conduct an all-day session with key volunteers and staff.
Together, we help you identify communication goals. For instance, you might be concerned with raising money to fund your work or becoming better known in the community. Or you intend recruiting program participants or rallying supporters for your cause. After we determine your communication goals, we look at your audiences. Who are you trying to reach? Prospective donors, existing donors, the media, or the public at large? Knowing your audiences makes it possible to plan your communication logically.
Determining different messages for different groups and how you will reach them is the next step in your communications plan. As you consider each audience in turn, ask the following questions:
- What does the audience need and want to know?
- When do we need to communicate?
- What is the regular or preferred channel for reaching this audience?
Once we have clarified your communication goals and developed a full understanding of the different audiences with whom you need to communicate, it’s time to plan your message – that means working out what you need to say and write in order to meet your objectives, and when and how these messages will be delivered.
The result of this work is a comprehensive communications plan that clearly outlines each step of the process – with timetable and budget – and that concurs with your resource development strategies and enhances your fundraising efforts.