Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

Testing Strategy Strength

blue rule

McKinsey is considered one of the premiere firm in management consulting.

They have developed a set of “tests” aimed at helping executives assess the strength of their strategies. I have done a good bit of editing and translated these into evaluations for development people.

Test 1: Will your development strategy and service be able to compete with other organizations that also call on your same friends and donors?

Test 2: Does your development strategy tap the true essence of your organization’s uniqueness? Have you identified what makes you very special and different?

Test 3: Is your development strategy firmly in place so you know who to call on and how to most effectively make your case? And at what level of giving?

Test 4: Does your development strategy put you ahead of trends in philanthropy?

Test 5: Is your development strategy farsighted and innovative (not settling on old, hoary, outdated insights)?

Test 6: Does your development strategy indicate that at times you must embrace ambiguity and uncertainty?

Test 7: Does your development strategy balance commitment to the organization with flexibility in presenting your case?

Test 8: Is your development strategy contaminated by a rigid bias and an out-dated mission of the organization?

Test 9: Is there dedication to act promptly on your strategy?

Test 10: Have you translated your strategy into an action plan?

Give yourself a score of 1 to 10— ten being “always” and one being “never.”
If you score 90 and above, you are on your way to success.

Here’s an idea. Make this the basis of a discussion at your next Board or staff meeting.


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