When Paul Amadi took up the reins as Executive Director of Fundraising at the MS Society, it was an exciting time of change. There was an ambitious, new organisation strategy. A 10 year, £100M research appeal had started. A new marketing strategy was in development… and a fundraising improvement programme was building on the outcomes of a comprehensive review. But there were also challenges – not least the need to recruit to a significant number of vacant posts. And just as the project began so, too, did sustained media, political and public disquiet about fundraising.
Paul quickly concluded that creating a comprehensive income generation strategy was both important and urgent to validate the income numbers in the forward financial plan, integrate the research appeal with other fundraising streams, and to give potential job candidates the confidence to join the Society.
Our brief was to support Paul and his team to develop an income generation strategy to align with and support the overall organisation strategy. From the beginning the process was inclusive with a strong focus on working together with marketing, and on building the organisation support needed for successful fundraising.
We suggested using the strategy map methodology to create a series of linked products – the strategy map itself, a scorecard to measure progress and performance and also an implementation plan to guide delivery. Taken together these three products offer a short but comprehensive explanation of the ‘what’, the ‘how’ and the ‘why’.
We used a workshop-based approach to understand the internal and external environment, identify the Society’s key drivers and then draft, refine and finalise the strategy. At each step there was regular checking in with the senior team of the Society to make sure that their expectations and needs were being met and to build the support from the organisation for fundraising success.
In parallel, the fundraising management team led an internal consultation process with fundraising staff on the draft strategy. They carried out a series of focus groups where all team members had the opportunity to comment and, critically, to suggest what was missing. The response to this inclusive process was enormously positive.
The result was a narrative and visual strategy that meets a range of stakeholder needs including the leadership of the Society, the fundraising directorate and other staff across the organisation who are critical to the delivery of ambitious fundraising goals.
And a last word from Paul:
‘=mc supported us at a key time, helping us get to a new income generation strategy quickly. Their methodologies bring real rigour to strategy development and as ever the =mc team supported and challenged us in equal measure. The end result is a robust strategy that is owned by the whole fundraising team that we are now implementing fast. Six months on we are about to review our progress to make sure we are on track.’
If you’d like to discuss how =mc can help with your organisation’s fundraising needs, call us on +44(0)20 7978 1516 to speak to a consultant, or email Angela Cluff, Principal Partner Consultant at email@example.com.
You can also find more information on =mc’s fundraising consultancy webpages.
For further reading, see the following free articles on our website:
We also offer training on the Strategy map methodology, this can be delivered in-house at your organisation at a time that suits you.
For details, visit the Strategy map training programme webpage.
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Clare Segal, Director