Before you begin any fundraising program you need a plan to guide you along the way.
A good fundraising plan is a roadmap to success and shows you how to allocate your precious resources of time and money. It can also help keep you out of crisis mode and help you control the flow of work in your office. This is a shift from being reactive to being proactive. When you’re proactive, you’re organized and focused. You raise more money.
A written plan should contain the Who, What, When, and How Much information about each fundraising strategy and goal you are working toward. It should include the case for your organization, or the reason why someone might support it. Your plan should clearly state your overall and specific fundraising goals along with potential sources of donors and strategies to reach those donors. Be sure to include an implementation plan along with revenue projections and a way to measure your success.
Before you implement a plan, you need to have everything in place so that your plan is effective. There are 3 basic things you need before you begin to plan. You must know:
- Your organizational strategic direction.
- Your organizational goals for the year.
- Your revenue/expense history and budget.
Gathering information before you start will help you create a fundraising plan that is supportive of your organization’s overall goals and needs. Once you have a handle on the big picture, you can put together a fundraising plan that will help keep you on track for the year.
Don’t be tempted to cheat and create a Fundraising Plan to “raise a lot of money” or “get lots of new donors”. You need to have a clear picture of why you are raising money for your organization. Fundraising plans must be tied to organizational goals and objectives.
Even though raising more money and getting more donors is ultimately your goal, you want your plan to be solid and effective so that more -donors and more money is the result of your plan.
Itemize each goal so that you can work to achieve it. It’s really simple. Just look at what your organizational needs are over the next year and think about separate funding goals in each of these categories:
- Programs and projects
This will help you evaluate funding opportunities and help you assign priorities. When you start getting to know your donors and funders well, you’ll learn which ones prefer which kinds of gift opportunities. It will make your fundraising more targeted, and your fundraising efforts will be much more fruitful.