The Liverpool manager has identified one of the outstanding German sides who have reached the Champions League semi-finals as the model for his own ambitions at Anfield
Rodgers, 40, is beginning to turn Liverpool into a footballing force once more after totally revamping their style of play.
However, he admits there is not a bottomless pit of money at Anfield, and that glory needs to be achieved on a budget.
"You can challenge without spending £80m in one summer," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.
"Look at the example of Borussia Dortmund, a team that won the Champions League and then struggled financially. They went out and rebuilt and it took them four to five years to push on.
"Then they won the league and their European work suffered. This year you can see they have put their focus on Europe and they have lost their [domestic] title. That's a team that has been growing over five years."
Liverpool currently lie seventh place in the Premier League, but since Rodgers arrived at Anfield, it's the football and the league position that he has strived to improve within the constraints of a budget.
"Unless you have got the Manchester City or Chelsea money and just bring in £70m-£80m worth in one summer to add to a Champions League-winning group, you need a different way.
"I think Dortmund's is the best way because you are not just looking after the team but also the club. Of course, supporters will always look at the team but for me it's bigger than that to have success. It's about all aspects of the club, so that when you do arrive you are in a strong position."
"It is the hardest step of all," he added.
"Chelsea were sixth last year and look at the reinforcements they made to get back to that level again. Then look at Tottenham who were fourth and did not get into the Champions League on a technicality. They spent £50m just to stay in there.
"It's a big ask, that's the reality, but we can really push on next year."