You’ve set your fundraising goals for next year.
You’ve even hung a big calendar on the wall and marked off important dates and deadlines. But before you add the finishing touches to your plan, there are some questions you need to answer.
You see, often we go about setting our goals based on pie-in-the sky numbers instead of on facts and truth. Goals should be a stretch and make you feel a little pit in your stomach, otherwise your playing small and way too safe.
Say you set a goal of $500,000 and 1,000 members. Without knowing where you are right now, how much you accomplished with what you have right now and taking stock of what assets and opportunities you will have available next year, you could be setting yourself and your organization up for failure.
It’s like having a destination, but no map and an unknown amount of gas in the tank.
Here are some numbers you should keep in mind as you create a fundraising plan for 2014.
* How much money did you raise last year? How much did you raise this year? What percentage growth did you achieve?
Say you had a 8% increase in donations this year, are your 2014 goals in line with level of growth? You can aim a little higher – go ahead.
* How many members do you have currently? How many new members did you get this year? How many lapsed members rejoined? How many members did not donate again? What is the average donation amount? Is that number higher or lower than last year?
* How much did you request in grant funding? How much where you actually awarded? Again, that percentage will be important when trying to predict grant funding for the upcoming year. If you goal is to receive $100,000 in grants, and you were able to secure 25% of requested funding last year, then you will want to apply for at least $400,000 in grants in 2014.*
* How much money did your special events bring in this year? How much money did it cost to put on? Did you make more of a larger profit this year than last year? It might be time to evaluate whether the special event is worth continuing. (Check out my blog on when to say goodbye to a special event.)
You can do the same thing for direct mail campaigns and other fundraising efforts.
By understanding your current numbers and trends, you can more accurately set goals and develop plans that get your organization fully funded in 2014.