Resource mobilization: a pillar in strategic planning

Resource mobilization has been identified by Adam Elhiraika, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa, as central to the African continent achieving its 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and its 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063. Elhiraika’s words were reported by cnbcafrica following a high-level policy dialogue on development planning in Africa in Cairo.

Similarly, planning is critical for any organisation to execute its goals but the best laid plans will never be realised without the right resources in place to back them up. This is no different in the development sector where charities rely on streams of funding to implement their strategies.

In general, strategic planning outlines the overall strategy and direction an organization will follow in the long term. Shorter-term goals that look at the day-to-day implementation of activities are covered under the operational plan but both require access to funding to drive the process. This is where having an effective plan in place to identify and solicit funding is key.

Increasingly, organisations are being asked to draw up resource mobilization plans that show how they are prepared to generate revenue for the short, medium and even long term. This means understanding the budget, the needs of clients, and prospective funders, and developing an attractive proposal that can be effectively communicated to potential funders.

In a climate where sourcing funding is becoming progressively challenging, the need to use the right tools and have the right expertise in place to encourage lasting revenue streams is even more critical. Have you thought about your organizations overarching goal? Do you have a theory of change?

It also requires a culture shift where organisations work to align resource mobilization plans with the organization’s mission, objectives and strategic plan. Can you tell a potential partner or funder in clear simple terms what change his support will help to achieve? Can articulate the planned impact your organization will achieve in the short and the long term?

The main thing to remember is that your organisations might need or want support but that need is not enough to attract support. Rather, you and your organization must articulate your impact in a meaningful way that persuades partners to be a part of the process. Do not miss out on any opportunities to share the impact of your work. Prepare yourself and your staff to talk convincingly about what your organization does and the importance of your impact on all developmental levels.


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