It doesn’t matter if you are running a multi-million dollar nonprofit organization or are a small start-up: the key to financial success is a well-thought-out fundraising plan. Don’t set yourself up for failure by just ‘winging’ the fundraising process.
Instead, get your team together (or go solo if it’s only you) and get to work on creating your fundraising plan.
What Is A Nonprofit Fundraising Plan?
A fundraising plan is a document that organizes all of your fundraising activities over a certain period of time (usually 1-year). These strategic plans generally include campaign dates and strategies, donor-tracking plans, special event details, and a targeted communication schedule.
A fundraising plan is meant to keep you focused and on-task throughout the year.
Why Do You Need One?
First and foremost, fundraising plans get everyone within your organization, including staff, volunteers, and board members, on the same page. It should give your team a clear idea of what will be expected of them over a period of time, as well as the anticipated results.
These documents are also essential in shifting an entire organization’s attitude about fundraising. Let’s face it, fundraising is oftentimes reactionary. Problems such as an economic downturn or changes in federal funding can arise at any time.
A fundraising plan should provide a clear course of action from diversified funding streams, leaving everyone with a little less stress on their plate when problems do pop up.
It all boils down to the fact that when you are in the thick of an underperforming capital campaign, you are much more likely to come out on top if you have a plan in place to tackle the issues.
Are you ready to create a great fundraising plan? There’s no time like the present to get started. Follow these 6 must-do steps to ensure your fundraising plan is ready.
How To Write A Successful Fundraising Plan
Assemble the Troops
When creating a fundraising plan, you definitely need all hands on deck. Figure out who needs to be involved in the planning process. After all, your development team may be in charge of fundraising, but it takes the entire organization to produce consistent results.
So, let’s get the right people sitting around the table. First, make sure that your board of directors is involved. Their input and support are necessary for this document to ‘go live.’ Small organizations may only have one or two employees, and it is, therefore, best to have your board there to advise you and get involved helping to create the plan.
Larger organizations that have many departments should focus on creating this plan with top-down support. Therefore, it is best to include the leadership team, the development department, and those working with communications.
If you are at a loss as to where to start, talk with a professional nonprofit consultant. They can get you started or even guide you through the process if you require extra help.
Set Your Fundraising Goals
Your fundraising goals should be based on what funds you need to keep the organization operating. It is best to start with what your costs were during the last 3 fiscal years. If that data isn’t available or you are a start-up, look to your estimated budget or check out the stats of similar organizations.
Jot down the precise amount you need for the upcoming year. Then, build on this goal. Do you see growth in your organization’s future? If so, increase your year-to-year goals based on your anticipated growth.