A board member for one of our clients told us a great story……about engaging the owner of her company in a fundraising conversation. She wanted to get him interested in the work, and for 9 years she persistently mentioned it at every opportunity. Without fail, he would always brush her off and suggest she talk to marketing about available budget to support her cause. Without the owner’s support, that led nowhere.
But when she brought a detailed, concise business plan to him and asked for advice– a business plan with metrics, milestones, financials, using the tools and language that he understood– he really took an interest. He quickly understood the impact the organization has in the community and their goals to do even more, and he gained confidence in them because of their transparent performance metrics and accountability through dashboards.
All this has led to the company engaging with the nonprofit on a deeper level and exploring ways to help, including making a financial investment in their work. As she put it, “using the Altruist Business plan, I felt I could have a very normal conversation about investing in this great community opportunity. It was a totally different dynamic than the typical ‘here’s a nonprofit that needs our help’ approach and it moved my boss immediately in a powerful new way.”
This dynamic plays out over and over with our clients. When an organization has a clear, concise, compelling business plan– one that is truly world class and investment-grade– it is able to create and grow productive partnerships in powerful new ways. There’s much more to it than just a great business plan, of course. Focused revenue strategy and disciplined execution are every bit as essential. But this little story shows the potential when ambitious nonprofits adopt enterprise-class tools and strategies. New levels of performance– and impact for our common good– quickly follow.