Support from the Top | Standard 1

The nonprofit has a current organizational strategic plan with a powerful, compelling vision for the future.


  A current strategic plan is accessible to staff and constituents

  Mission, vision, history of organization, corporate values and goals clearly describe the impact the organization intends to have

  Staff and board review strategic plan at least annually 


  Strategic Planning for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits)

  Elements of a Vision Statement (BoardSource)

  5 Phases of Strategic Planning (BoardSource)

  Example: Strategic Framework (BoardSource)

  Sample/model goals and related strategies and Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters (Bridgespan Group) 

Support from the Top | Standard 5

Management sets clear and realistic goals, strategies, and tactics that are designed to encourage and recognize collaboration across all lines of fundraising.


  Annual and/or campaign goals include separate and realistic goal for planned gift commitments

  Fundraiser crediting policy encourages collaboration, not competition


  FREE Integrating Planned & Major Gifts: Jazzy but Hard to Dance To? (T. Joseph McKay, Gordon Smith, Ashley Buderus)

  The "Plan" in Planned Giving...a Long and Short Three-Year Action Plan (Pamela Davidson)

  Creating a Fundraising Plan: A Step by Step Guidebook (Nonprofit Learning Lab)

 Creating Your Development Plan: What Does the Plan Look Like? (Margaret Guellich and Lynda Lysakowski--book excerpt)

Support from the Top | Standard 6

The nonprofit has fundraising metrics for individual staff and program focusing on activities and outcomes that drive success.


  Fundraiser performance metrics include both substantive activities and outcomes

  Performance metrics are evaluated annually and over 3 and 5-year periods

  The organization can identify at least three true peer organizations for purposes of benchmarking program inputs and outcomes 


  FREE "Evaluating Gift Planner Performance: A Guide for Charity Managers," (Tom Cullinan)

  Gift Planner Metrics: Tracking the Numbers that Count (Joe Bull, Josh Birkholz, Erik Daubert, Kathryn Miree)

  Metrics That Motivate (Anne Melvin)

  Making Sense of Planned Giving Metrics: Advancing Dialog About What Really Counts (Marts & Lundy Special Report)

Support from the Top | Standard 7

The development team has an appropriate budget for staff, administrative support, marketing, travel, training, stewardship, and advisor cultivation for its size, structure, and goals.


The following expenses are budgeted for:


  administrative support 

  integrated marketing across the nonprofit's footprint

  specific planned gift marketing

  prospect identification (wealth screening, etc.)

  donor engagement (travel and meetings) 

  external training, internal training

  professional memberships

  stewardship (events, travel, small tokens of recognition)

  professional advisor cultivation (newsletters, events, visits) 

  gift planning software

  external resources (consultants, advisors) 


 Mission Impossible? Planned Giving Results and Projection (Sharpe Group, Give & Take)

The Ability and Capacity to Execute | Standard 11

The nonprofit has qualified staff in place to drive and support the gift planning process.


  Job descriptions for all development personnel are up to date and easily accessible to staff

  There is a standard orientation process for all new hires that includes review of strategic plan and all gift planning policies, procedures and metrics

  All fundraisers receive performance reviews annually

  The organization has access to technical expertise on staff or through volunteers or paid counsel


  FREE "Hiring, Motivating and Retaining High Impact Charitable Planners" (Kathryn Miree and Jeff Comfort)

  "How to Identify, Hire and Retain the 'Perfect' Planned Giving Officer," (Kathryn Miree)

  "The Six Faces of Gift-planning Officers," (Kathryn Miree, Planned Giving Today, December 2013)

  FREE "A Nonprofit Organization's Guide to Engaging an Executive Search Firm," Bridgespan Group

 Building Sustainable "Best in Class" Fundraising Teams (Steve Goodner)

  CGP Career Center