Assess Goals and Resource Capacity

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The revenue development process includes five steps: assessing goals and current resource capacity, identifying your income strategy, selecting an appropriate revenue source, developing and executing a revenue source plan, and evaluating results and striving for improvement. The first step of the revenue development process helps you organize your goals, project where you hope to be, weigh your strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate the opportunities and threats your organization faces. During this step, attempt to be as detailed and candid as possible, as this can help ensure that the plans for development identified later are clear, concise, and realistic.

Identify organizational goals for revenue development.

Your organization likely has a variety of goals it hopes to meet in the coming weeks, months, and years. Consider development areas such as annual revenue, special project revenue, number of donors, number of volunteers raising revenue, fundraising expenses, and the fifteen different types of revenue covered in Chapter 1. Where does your organization currently stand in regards to these developmental areas? Where does your organization hope to be in the future?

Download the Goals and Financial Resources worksheet and brainstorm your organization's goals with staff. Be sure to include stakeholders, including your board and staff leadership, as these individuals have the power to make decisions as to which of these goals will be supported and pursued, becoming part of the organization's strategic vision.

Conduct a SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) enables organizations to assess their current financial resource strengths and weaknesses and evaluate the opportunities and threats around them. The result of an accurate SWOT analysis is a refined set of statements about your organization that will help you target your focus in generating more revenue.
When crafting SWOT statements, ask yourself:

  • Where can a revenue source build on a strength?
  • What weaknesses must we minimize or eliminate to enhance a revenue source?
  • Which opportunities support a strength or help eliminate a weakness?
  • Which of the threats could potentially undermine an income strategy?

Download the SWOT worksheet to review question prompts, and click on the activity icon on the right to explore helpful tips for each area. 

Click to open interactivity Explore the elements of a SWOT analysis.

Explore the elements of a SWOT analysis.

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