Goal Establishment

This is the first phase of tactical philanthropy and the point of handoff from the strategic process to the tactical process. This is the point at which the strategic vision is communicated to the tactical advisor. The vision may have been crafted with the help of a strategic advisor or by the donor on their own. It may be clearly stated or somewhat vague. Whether you know it or not you have a strategic plan, although without putting appropriate energy into this initial step, your strategic goals may be limited. The best-executed tactics can only help you fully realize your strategic mission, they can’t make up for lack of vision.

The role of the tactical advisor during Goal Establishment is to fully comprehend your vision and to translate your strategic goals into concrete tactical goals. These goals may include:

  • Make the largest immediate gift possible to a specific nonprofit without exceeding a cost to your personal capital of more than a certain amount.
  • Increase the amount of annual giving without increasing the current cost to your personal capital.
  • Maintain the current level of annual giving while minimizing the cost to your personal capital.
  • Finding ways to utilize your entire portfolio of assets to fund your giving instead of making simple cash gifts.
  • Transforming the largest possible amount of personal capital into social capital in the most tax efficient way.

In short, your strategic plan will outline what social impact you want to achieve and which organizations you wish to fund (make grants to, invest in, make loans to, etc) in order to affect this change. Your tactical goals will outline the financial impact you wish to achieve. The tactical plan should contemplate the impact that the financial transaction will have on your available personal and social capital and attempt to maximize your total available capital. The desired allocation between personal and social capital is a function of how you wish to “spend” your capital, either in the pursuit of personal goods or social goods.

As Phil at Gift Hub said recently:

"Philanthropic plans start with visions, or goals, some very high level, sometimes almost breathless ("a better world") but must through a disciplined process drill down to specific tactics that can be implemented, tested, and monitored."

The Goal Establishment process is concerned with translating your philanthropic vision into specific tactical goals.