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DOING LAB | Write the Annual Development Plan

In this 2-session Doing Lab, you’ll write a 12-month development plan for fundraising, donor engagement, social media, and your annual appeal. The annual development plan is a nonprofit’s fundamental fundraising blueprint, crafted each year to manage the development process. This plan organizes all development objectives and targets, the tasks necessary to meet them, and timelines for accomplishing each task. In providing specific guidance and direction for implementation, the annual development plan does not just serve as a roadmap for staff, but gives the board (and the development committee in particular) the opportunity to see exactly how and when they can help.


  • Understand the fundamentals of development planning and how to build your plan using key categories of revenue such as foundation, corporate, event, individual, and major gifts.
  • Develop the appropriate plan template, calendar, and goal worksheets.
  • Work with your team to complete an annual development plan.
  • Receive targeted advice on effective strategies.


  • Executive director and/or development director (whosoever is responsible for creating the plan)
  • Development committee chair and/or committee members
  • Board chair or other officers


Electronic templates and samples will be provided to download and use in class (and beyond); they will include a development plan, a calendar, and a goal sheet. We will also use a “gift table” for those raising money from individuals.

We will ask you to complete sections of the plan in class, using help from our roving consultant, who will provide advice and information for each participating team. 

Expect homework between sessions: We will ask you to complete some sections off-site, which we’ll review in the second session. 

Small organizations (those without a full-time staffer dedicated to development) should join this small-cohort “doing” experience and create your own plan alongside your fellow nonprofits; sharing and peer-to-peer learning will be encouraged. We recommend signing up a team of 2 to 5 to participate in the Lab. GCN consultants will provide individualized assistance for each organization.

Program Stats:


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT


Online class
You will receive log-in information after registering for the course.

Registration Details

$350 per organization
Includes 2 to 5 representatives from your organization.

Once your organization has completed registration please email a complete list of attendees to [email protected] at least 48 hours prior to the Lab.


Note: This is a Nonprofit Consulting Group program, not a Nonprofit University course, so subscriptions do not apply and this program is not eligible for Wells Fargo Scholarships

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