TSB 051: Answering the Question All Funders Have

capacity building fundraising leadership nonprofit strategy the saturday boardroom Dec 02, 2023
TSB 051: Answering the Question All Funders Have

Read Time: 2 minutes

This week's tip:  Crystallizing your nonprofit's unique mission and impact goals with a well-defined theory of change not only answers funders' questions but becomes the catalyst for meaningful partnerships and sustained support. 

Ever had that moment when your funders or donors are asking, "But, really, what's your game plan?" 

Did you embark on a wild goose chase, attempting to satisfy them with data, solutions, and cookie-cutter strategies?  If you did, you're not alone.

Unfortunately, the disconnect arises when these well-meaning efforts lack the authenticity and tailored precision needed to resonate with the unique heartbeat of your organization, leaving both your mission and potential funding opportunities adrift in a sea of missed connections.

However, imagine what would happen if your nonprofit crafts a theory of change as unique as your fingerprint, aligning every strategy with your core values and community intricacies, creating a narrative that not only resonates but sparks genuine connections with funders who share your vision.  

I recommend checking out the book "Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity" by Mario Morino. It delves into the importance of outcome-focused thinking for nonprofits and provides insights on creating meaningful change through strategic and tailored approaches.  

Authenticity is the linchpin of a successful theory of change. Ensure that each element resonates with your organization's values and identity. Funders are increasingly drawn to narratives that exude authenticity, so aligning your strategy with genuine passion and commitment will not only attract support but also foster a deeper connection with your mission.

To create your theory of change, fill in these blanks:


The journey doesn't end with crafting your theory of change. Stay agile and adaptive. Regularly reassess and refine it based on feedback, changing circumstances, and the evolving needs of your community. An iterative approach ensures that your nonprofit remains dynamic, responsive, and well-positioned for lasting impact.

That's all for today. I'll see you again next Saturday!

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways we can help you:

  1. Register for one of our upcoming workshops here
  2. Book me to speak at your upcoming event here.
  3. Explore our consulting services here.

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