Our 5-Step Plan

Identify the Challenges or Opportunities Facing Your Community

No one is better equipped or more capable than you to draw attention to, and call for action in response to needs and opportunities that impact the shared interests of your business community and stakeholders. Economic development, quality of place, workforce and education, and legislative advocacy are typically areas where your group has a key role to play.

Draft a Multi-Year (4-5 Years) Plan Outlining the Response and Solutions

  • Convene key board members and other community leaders in brainstorming/focus groups.
  • Estimate costs for implementation including staff, marketing, research, lobbying, etc.
  • Focus on community outcomes and benefits.
  • Consider partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, local governments, etc.
  • Create a “strategic initiative” that is above and beyond, and distinct from current operations and funding.

Conduct a Feasibility Analysis and Goal Assessment

Done correctly, this critical step will:

  • Validate the proposed program as a community priority.
  • Determine the potential level of financial support.
  • Help prioritize and align program strategies, tactics, and desired outcomes.
  • Identify leaders and champions – essential to fundraising success.
  • Begin to extend the buy-in and ownership of the plan beyond a narrow group.

Refine the Plan to Reflect Input from Assessment Phase

Finalizing the program’s strategies, tactics and budgets in this fashion ensures that it is “owned” and endorsed by the top leaders who will be asked to help fund it and provide it with credibility and accountability.

Conduct a Campaign to Fund the Initiative

  • Trust professional counsel and their process to avoid common pitfalls.
  • Ask for the right amount.
  • Document and sell return on investment; DON’T beg for “charitable donations.”
  • Provide good investor relations: governance, communication, engagement and, of course…EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC INITIATIVE.
Fast Fact Image

"On behalf of the officers and directors of the Economic Development Alliance, I want to thank you and your staff for the great job NCDS did in helping restructure the Alliance, and for successful management of the fundraising campaign that fully funded our five-year action plan. The NCDS process and format delivered exactly what you said it would do when you met with Alliance members over eighteen months ago. The NCDS process engaged top regional private and public sector leaders and attracted financial support from large and small companies and communities throughout the region."

Brian Ferguson, Chairman & CEO (Retired) • Eastman Chemical Company

National Community Development Services, Inc.
6300 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 600-165
Atlanta, GA  30339
Phone: (404) 231-0730