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Winning Institutional Donor Funding: 5 Key Steps for a Successful Capture Plan

As an NGO seeking institutional donor funding, it is crucial to have a strong capture plan in place to increase your chances of success. But what exactly is a capture plan, and what steps should a capture manager take to create one that will help your organization win funding?

A capture plan is a strategy for securing a contract, and a capture manager is responsible for developing and executing this plan. This includes interfacing with potential donors, developing a plan, determining discriminators and win strategy, and participating in key decision gates. The capture manager's primary goals include assessing their competitive position, strengthening their relationship with the potential donor, determining discriminators through assessment and analysis, developing win themes, and establishing a go-forward action plan.

But it's not just about having a well-written plan - it's also about having the discipline and a defined set of criteria at each step of the process. This includes involving the right people, understanding your organization's goals and objectives, and knowing your long-range strategy. As the capture manager, you should also be involved in the blue team, black hat, and capture planning phases, as well as the color team reviews and proposal phases and post-submittal activities.

So, what are the key steps a capture manager should take to create a successful capture plan?

  1. Understand the donor's requirements: It is crucial to thoroughly research the donor's needs and expectations to tailor your capture plan to meet them. This includes understanding their funding priorities, past grant recipients, and any specific requirements they may have for proposals.

  2. Assess the competition: It's important to understand who your competition is and what they are offering. This will help you to differentiate your organization and highlight your unique strengths.

  3. Identify your discriminators: Determine what sets your organization apart from the competition and make sure to highlight these in your capture plan. This could include your experience, expertise, or unique approach to addressing the donor's needs.

  4. Develop a win strategy: Based on your research and analysis, develop a clear and convincing strategy for why your organization is the best fit for the donor's funding.

  5. Follow a disciplined approach: It is important to have a clear and structured approach to developing and executing your capture plan. This includes following defined milestones and involving the right people at each step of the process.

By following these key steps, a capture manager can create a successful capture plan that will increase the chances of their organization winning institutional donor funding. Don't let the competition get the upper hand - make sure to put a strong capture plan in place and secure the funding your organization needs to make a difference.


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