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

“NCDS has been our fundraising firm of choice since they first helped us devise the Forward Sioux Falls operating model in 1987, and raised $1.8 million to implement it.  Not only is the firm exceptionally skilled at raising money, they also understand the importance of generating buy-in and sustained commitment.  NCDS has helped us exceed goal in seven campaigns, the latest of which has a $15.5 million target, and when the current campaign is completed, NCDS will have helped us raise $53 million to fund our initiatives.  Our top community leaders expect the best from our organization, and the exceptional team at NCDS always works hard to help us exceed those expectations.” 

Evan Nolte, President & CEO • Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

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