List makers rejoice!
Here are 52 lists you can make to help you move your fundraising efforts forward in a big way.
These lists will help you get your ideas and information out of your head and in front of you where you can see them regularly. Hopefully, they’ll spark your creativity as a fundraiser and help you engage those around you, too.
These are in no particular order, so start with the one that looks like the most fun to you.
1. Top 10 reasons why your nonprofit is awesome. What are the top 10 reasons why your organization is remarkable and why someone should support you?
2. Happy ending stories. What ‘feel-good’, happy ending stories can you share to inspire donors to give?
3. Top 10 donors. Who are your top 10 individual donors now?
4. Top 10 donor prospects. Who are the 10 people you’d love to meet and have as donors?
5. Top foundations. Who are your top foundation givers now? Where do your biggest grants come from and who are the decision makers at those foundations?
6. Top foundation prospects. What foundations would you LOVE to get a grant from?
7. Website updates. What improvements need to be made to your website?
8. 5-year goals. How big will your donor base be? How much money will you be raising? What will your Impact Goal be? What else?
9. 1-year goals. What will you accomplish by this time next year?
10. New event ideas. What other events could you do that would be fun, in alignment with your mission, and help you raise a LOT of money. (Note: just because you come up with several ideas doesn’t mean you should use every one of them. Only execute the best one and hit it out of the park.
11. Current event improvement ideas.What can you do to tweak your current event and make it even better? Add a silent auction? Raise the paddle? VIP reception? What else?
12. Fundraising Committee prospects. Who would you LOVE to add to your fundraising committee? Who could help open doors in the community and bring money to the table for you?
13. Top 10 corporate sponsors. Who are your top 10 corporate sponsors now?
14. Top 10 corporate prospects. Who are the 10 businesses you’d like an introduction to and have as sponsors?
15. Ideas for thanking donors. What creative, innovative ideas do you have for thanking donors?
16. “No cost” donor engagement ideas. What ideas do you have for engaging your donors?
17. Ideas for warm touches. What ideas do you have for ways you can interact with your donors without asking them for money. Include holiday cards, birthday cards, updates, etc.
18. Appointments to schedule. What appointments do you need (or want) with donors, prospects, foundations, and sponsors?
19. Video update ideas. What ideas do you have for video updates that you can create and send to either individual donors or groups of donors to bring them up to speed on your organization’s activities?
20. New donor sources. What ideas do you have for places to find new donors?
21. Untapped markets. What groups of people would you LOVE to have as supporters that you haven’t yet tapped in to?
22. Ideas for newsletter articles. What ideas do you have for newsletter articles you can write and share in the coming months? Remember, these don’t have to be very long.
23. Board prospects. Who would you love to have on your Board?
24. Ideas for engaging your Board. What ideas do you have for getting your Board interested and more involved in your organization, especially in fundraising?
25. Top 10 volunteers. What volunteers regularly give you the most hours?
26. Ideas for thanking volunteers. What creative, innovative ideas do you have for thanking volunteers?
27. Evergreen social media posts. What are some things that are not time sensitive you can write/create/gather that you can post on social media any time?
28. Weekly routine. What things need to be done each week to keep your fundraising moving forward? Include donor thank-you calls, hand-written notes, reviewing Donor Acknowledgement plan and social media plans, etc.
29. Monthly routine. What things need to be done monthly to keep your fundraising moving forward? Include changing your general thank-you letter, updating your website, reviewing donor cultivation plans and fundraising plans, data maintenance, etc.
30. Quarterly routine. What needs to happen quarterly to keep your fundraising moving forward? Include print newsletters, donor updates, etc.
31. Annual routine. What needs to happen annually to keep your fundraising moving forward? Include things like creating an annual report, reviewing budget vs actual numbers, setting your plan for the year, etc.
32. Top 10 fundraising books to read. What books could give you some great insight or new ideas?
33. Top conferences to attend. What conferences, workshops, or seminars would help you sharpen the saw?
34. Favorite inspirational quotes. What quotes motivate and inspire you?
35. Daily gratitude. What are you grateful for today? (Make this list daily.)
36. Daily affirmations. What mantra(s) do you need to remind yourself of today so you can face your demons and overcome them? (Do this daily).
37. Crazy ideas list. What wild, “out there” ideas do you have for moving your fundraising forward? This is a fun list to brainstorm with staff, volunteers, and even Board members. You never know when you might be able to make one of them happen!
38. Top 3 goals for this week. What are the top 3 things you need to get done this week?
39. Wish list. What stuff or services would you love someone to donate to your organization?
40. Culture of philanthropy ideas. What ideas do you have for helping your co-workers understand how philanthropy works and how they can support your efforts?
41. Top influencers. Who are the top 10 or so people you’re grateful for? Who are the people who are doing the most now to help you raise money?
42. Top local events. What are the top events that are happening in your area that you could leverage?
43. Celebrity friend wish list. What celebrities would you LOVE to have as supporters or champions?
44. Important dates to remember. What are the important birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or other dates you need to remember?
45. Donor-tracking software usefulness.What features of your donor-tracking software are you currently not using that would save you time and streamline your efforts if you began using them?
46. Top 10 things to automate. What are you doing the hard way that should be automated to save you time?
47. Top 10 things to delegate. What’s on your plate now that needs to be given to someone else to free up your time to do the things that you are uniquely qualified to do?
48. Stop Doing list. What things are you doing now (or your team) that you need to stop doing? What things shouldn’t be done at all and can be dumped?
49. Top networking opportunities. What are the hottest places in town for you to network, to meet new donors and corporate sponsors?
50. Ideas for monthly giving. What ideas do you have to promote your monthly giving program, growing the number of people who give?
51. Ideas for press releases. What ideas do you have for stories you can pitch to the local media to get stories in the news?
52. Ideas for speaking gigs. What ideas do you have for places where you can speak to spread the word about your nonprofit’s work and find new donors?
Share your favorite list in the comments below.