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Design Your Program - Integrated Development Plan

Before you launch your program, it's critical to develop a written plan — an Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The IDP encompasses all of the factors you have considered when designing your program.

The IDP is not just about major giving, nor does it only involve development. It is a holistic view of the interrelations among development activities within the context of the station's annual programming, outreach, and marketing activities.

In many stations, we have found the IDP to be one of the most difficult areas to implement. Stations that have an overall strategic plan, however, have found the IDP relatively straightforward. This underlines the absolute necessity of strategic planning within a station. It is closely woven into success in major gift fundraising. And it often requires managing change within the organization.

Topics of Interest
Topics of Interest

Elements of an Integrated Development Plan

Development plans come in all shapes and sizes but the best ones share four common elements, which are outlined below.

Choose whatever format works for you and is consistent with the rest of your station's planning, but be sure to include these elements. It may be useful to tie them together with a narrative so that the budget is useful even for those who have not been closely involved in its preparation.

Four elements of an Integrated Development Plan:

  1. Case Materials
    Your internal case materials are a critical part of your Integrated Development Plan because they provide the link between your development plan and your station's strategic plan. Use the Case Materials Checklist (PDF, 75KB) to create or gather those materials and keep them up to date.

  2. Budget
    The best plan in the world will fail if it is not based upon a realistic projection of revenues and expenses. Setting goals and allocating resources is a critical part of the planning process and often the subject of lots of internal negotiation. Your final budget should reflect the format of all of your station's budgeting but the Budget Projection Tool (MS Excel file, 70KB) and the Budget Checklist (MS Excel file, 20KB) may help you in its preparation. Be sure to pay particular attention to the personnel costs as you plan your budget. Major giving is a labor intensive process.

  3. Operational Plan
    At the heart of your Integrated Development Plan is an Operational Plan that takes each of your goals and breaks them into a series of "SMART" (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-determined) Objectives and Action Steps. The Operational Plan Template (MS Word file, 62KB) is based upon this approach. We've also added an Operational Plan Action Steps Checklist (MS Word file, 54KB). If you fill one checklist for each objective it should give you a tool to assign responsibility and track progress.

    It may be useful to think of each of the Building Blocks as you create objectives for each goal. Ask yourself, "How does this relate to Case Development and Articulation?" "What Board and Volunteer Resources will I need to accomplish this?" "What are the implications for Staffing and Leadership?"

    And remember, this is an Integrated Development Plan, one that addresses all of your development activities. Use the Opportunity Checklist (PDF, 51KB), to make sure you are taking advantage of all of the opportunities for synergy among major giving, other development activities, and work elsewhere in the station.

    You should feel free to use any form that works for you but make sure that it allows you a way to assign responsibility, track progress, and measure results.

    Here are some examples of good Operational Plans:

    • Wisconsin Public Television Operational Plan (PDF, 425KB). This Plan is so effective, we used it to create our Operational Plan Template.
    • Vermont Public Television's comprehensive Business Plan (PDF, 39KB). It not only presents the department's roadmap for the year, but describes how the network develops it.

    And an example of a good Integrated Development Plan:


  4. Annual Calendar
    One of the best ways to ensure coordinated planning among all of your development activities is to use this Fundraising Calendar Template (MS Excel file, 31KB) to plan, schedule and track all of your activities.

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Updating Your Integrated Development Plan

The Integrated Development Plan is your roadmap. It allows you to assess your progress through the year. If you fall behind, it allows you to adjust tactics or to give early notice to management that goals will not be fully attained. It allows the entire department and other stakeholders within your station to make the most of each fundraising activity and to avoid conflicts in events, mailings, and allocation of airtime.

As such, you should refer to it at least monthly, assess your progress at least quarterly, and share it with other departments.

Once you have established your plan and begun to use it as a management tool, it becomes easy to update it annually. Because it is a process and not just a document, it will assist you in preparing for each new budget cycle. In time, it can become a way of thinking about your development effort that will help you to advance every fundraising activity.

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Change Management

Another important concept introduced to many stations by the Major Giving Initiative is Change Management. Change Management focuses on the necessary elements to create lasting change within an organization. This has been expressed as an equation:

Change = Motivation x Vision x Process

The multiplication signs in the equation signify that all three elements must be present for change to occur. If any one term is zero then, since multiplication times zero equals zero, no change will happen.

Taking a closer look at the three factors needed for change to occur:

  1. Motivation. Is there enough dissatisfaction to drive change?
    • Is it clear that change is needed?
    • Is there a sense of urgency?
    • Is there support from the top?

  2. Vision. Is there a clear vision that gives direction to the change effort?
    • Is there a clear picture of what the organization needs to become?
    • Are there strategies for achieving the vision?
    • Has the vision been widely and frequently communicated?

  3. Process. Is there a process that involves all stakeholders in achieving the desired change?
    • Is there support from the top?
    • Is there a team guiding the effort? Does it include the right people?
    • Is creativity encouraged?
    • Are systematic and structural obstacles to change being removed?
    • Are there frequent celebrations of progress?
    • Is there attention to each personšs reaction to change?

The Change Management Self-Assessment Tool (MS Word file, 41KB) was developed to provide a thorough assessment of the change process. It is useful for anyone desiring to assess an ongoing change process. Also useful is the Change Management Issues Survey (MS Word file, 80KB). For additional resources, please see the Change Management Bibliography (PDF, 29KB).

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Case Materials Checklist (PDF, 75KB)
Budget Projection Tool (MS Excel File, 70KB)
Budget Checklist (MS Excel file, 20KB)
Operational Plan Template (MS Word file, 62KB)
Operational Plan Action Steps Checklist (MS Word file, 54KB)
Opportunity Checklist (PDF, 51KB)
Change Management Self-Assessment Tool (MS Word file, 41KB)
Change Management Issues Survey (MS Word file, 80KB)