There’s a scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice meets the Cheshire cat.  Alice is lost and asks if he can tell her which way to go.  The cat says “where do you want to go?” and she says “I don’t know.”  “Then it doesn’t really matter which way you go” says the cat.

In fundraising, if you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t much matter which way you head, either.  Any road will get you there.

The best fundraising plans start with a goal.  It might be the number of dollars you want to raise, the number of donors you want to renew or the number of new donors you want to attract.  Once you know what target you are shooting for, you can take aim.

Here are some tips for putting a fundraising plan in place.

  1. Put it in writing. This will help make the plan real and your goals more achievable.
  2. Set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
  3. Diversify your revenue streams. You never want more than half your money coming from one source.  If that source goes away, you’ve got HUGE problems!
  4. Create a Summary Calendar to keep all your activities in one place. This will help you manage your work better and be proactive instead of reactive.
  5. Put support in place to keep you on track. Get someone to hold you accountable and make sure you work your plan.  Otherwise, you may be tempted to let the plan slide.

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