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Welcome to the NGO Futures Resource Center!

Ken Phillips
Civil Society Strategist, 

Consultant, Mentor, Author
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Thanks for your interest in my free resources to help your nonprofit grow!

Below, you will find worksheets on the following topics: A) developing your leadership, B) creating a strategic and operational plan, C) developing your fundraising plan, D) identifying correct strategies for your fundraising, and E) putting in place meaningful ethics and strategic evaluation to earn the trust and support of donors.

A) I promised you Guidance and Exercises on Leadership Development. This program is based on a course I have developed to help people step up to be better leaders wherever they may be in the organization hierarchy. My program on 'Progress to Become a Better Leader' is a master class course divided into of seven segments you can do step-by-step.


You can drop out at any time, for sure. But if you seriously engage in the course with needed thinking, learning, and designing, you will end up with a pathway to more effective, more engaging, and more responsible leadership. I know this as I’ve done it with many others in many different countries over many years.

My approach to leadership is described in my book Make a Better World. Leadership is the first requirement for success. No excuses. This is reality. Here you will find seven worksheets, one set each week for the next seven weeks (or according to your own timetable). If you persist and have honest feedback from a partner, you will grow as a leader. It will lead you through these topics:

  1. Developing Your Personal Leadership Vision and Plan of Action

  2. Assessing Your Character, Values, Caring, and Judgment for Responsible Leadership

  3. Further Developing Your Leadership Characteristics

  4. Determining: How Do You Actually Lead? What Do Others Experience?

  5. Understanding: What Kind of Leader Are You?

  6. Progress To Become a Better Leader

  7. Stepping Up and Managing Change


B) A good Strategic and Operational Plan is essential for fundraising success. Strategic Planning is a responsibility of the fundraiser if an excellent one is not already in place. The system presented here is based on all the plans I have led or facilitated over the years.

Introduction to Tools for Strategic and Operational Planning

  1. Preliminary Preparation – What to Know before You Begin

  2. Research and Analysis before the Planning: A Toolkit for Reality

  3. Developing Innovative Inputs for Your Plans: A Toolkit for Innovation

  4. Drafting Your Strategic Plan: A Toolkit for Creating New Strategic Directions

  5. Drafting Detailed Operational Plans: A Toolkit for Operational Success

  6. Change vs Status Quo: What to Change and What to Keep – Learning for All Staff

  7. Establishing Strong Values and Energizing Culture: “Must Do” for all NGOs These Days

  8. Developing the Right Strategies for Your Organization: 25 Proven Strategies

  9. Competitor Assessment

  10. Strategic and Operational Planning - For Community Organizations


C) Third is a worksheet on Fundraising Development. This is based on my +60  years working as fundraiser, executive director, board member, trainer, mentor, consultant, and author, always with a concern to increase fundraising results. Your plan should build on your leadership development progress and your organization’s strategic and operational plan.

D) Fourth is a set of worksheets on Ethics and Trust and on Evaluation, Learning, and Impact. The two most significant concerns people have about NGOs (called charities is some countries) are “Can I trust you?” and “Do you really get results?” My fourth book addresses these concerns with specific actions you can take to earn the trust and respect of potential donors.

I wish I were with you as we go through these sessions as I know that eye contact, body language, and informal conversation help make a course more successful. Let’s imagine we are working together in these new and challenging times.


Among other resources is my article “Fundraising is not about money” which is an interview I did at the Center for Leadership and Management, a master’s degree program for Ukrainian NGO executives and fundraisers at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. I had participated in several training workshops for NGOs in the Lviv Region, and when the University created the first master’s course for NGOs, I was invited to be a lecturer in the program for several years.


My first Iron Rule of Fundraising is that “fundraising is not about money – it’s about who you are, what you do, and why I should trust you.” Read it and recognize that fundraising is about making this a better world, helping people in need and our planet, and enabling donors to achieve something of great value. You give something of great value to donors and this article explains how.

5. Conductor.jpeg
12. Smarter fishing by Sawyer.jpeg

 Lead your team like a conductor!

Chaos or ...    Working together

''Hey guys, here's what you need to do!''


Other publications (selected)


  • A Common Approach to National Society Development, editor and author, International
    Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 2006 

  • “To Market, To Market? It’s a fine line between marketing and fundraising, but connecting
    the dots can lead to big returns” in Board Member: The Magazine for Nonprofit Boards and
    Chief Executives, Board Source, December 2003

  •  International NGO Evaluation Methodologies for Capacity Building, 20 case studies, the
    Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo, 2001 (in Japanese)

  • “NGO Standards: Self-Regulation and Beyond” in Alliance Magazine, London, December

  •  “Strategic Planning for Sustainability” and “Creating Internal Capacity” in Growing Your Organization: A Sustainability Resource Book for NGOs, author and editor, International Youth Foundation, Baltimore, 1999

  • “Capacity Building: Essential Building Blocks. What are the essential elements in building
    capacity in your organization?” in Professional Fundraising, London, June 1999
  • Framework for Capacity Building, editor and author, International Federation of Red Cross
    and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 1999/2000
  • National Society Governance Guidelines, editor and author, International Federation of Red
    Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 1997
  •  WWF International Major Donor Workshop: Resources and Report, facilitator, April 1996
    (limited edition)
  • Resource Development Handbook, editor and author, International Federation of Red Cross
    and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 1994
  • Illustrative Standards for Not-For-Profit Organizations, Regional Conference on Regulating
    Civil Society, May 1994, Sinaia, Romania (in Russian and English)
  • InterAction PVO Standards, InterAction, 1993
  • Resources for Development, by Stark Biddle for the Private Funding Committee of
    InterAction, chaired by Ken Phillips, October 1986
  • “Marketing Foster Parents Plan” in Fund Raising Management, June 1985
  • “Point-of-Solicitation Disclosure: A Case-Study of Voluntary Regulation” in The KRC
    Letter, December 1977


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