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DOING LAB | Write the Annual Development Plan

In this 2-session 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


Please bring a laptop! 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.


Christal Cherry is a nationally recognized fundraiser who has spent 17 years working with nonprofits and higher education institutions. With passion and a wide breadth of experience, Christal works with clients to create and implement fundraising strategies that secure the resources needed for meaningful impact, organizational growth, and a thriving operation. Learn more 

Kathy Keeley has more than 25 years of experience in fundraising for organizations of all kinds, including very small and medium-sized nonprofits. She consults and trains in all fundraising topics, with a focus on current trends, demographics, technology, social trends, and ongoing changes in the fundraising landscape. Keeley is a hands-on practitioner, having spent most of her life as an executive director responsible for fundraising. Her facilitation style will keep you engaged, productive, and on-track to complete the final product. Learn more



Program Stats:


Fall edition: December 3 & December 12


5:30pm - 8:00pm


Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Training Room
100 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta GA 30303

Registration Details

$500 per organization
Includes 2 to 5 representatives from your organization.
Dinnner is included.

Fall Edition:


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

Learn more about DOING LABS and explore other opportunities.