Good fundraising is about planning.  Your efforts to secure support should be strategic, considered and targeted. Having a plan in place shows people that you have a long-term vision and the means to carry out your activities, keep your promises and look after your supporters.

Your fundraising plan should – ideally – cover at least two or three years, and be based on your fundraising cycle.

If you’re a small organisation, or just starting out, that might not be feasible. You might start with a one year plan.

Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to multi-year plans, loftier goals and more sophisticated strategies.


There are six key elements of a fundraising plan:

  1. Your case for support – check out the video!
  2. Your fundraising objectives – these should be clear and measurable
  3. Your fundraising strategies and targets
  4. An action plan – what needs to be done, by when, and by whom
  5. A stewardship plan – you need to build in time to nurture the relationships you’ve built. Check out the video!
  6. Your budget, resources and expected return on investment.

Let’s focus in on your fundraising strategies and targets

This will be a mix based on your organisation’s unique situation.

You should consider variables like your location and resources, your board’s skills and capacity, your audience type and your business goals.

For example:

  • Do you have a large and engaged social network?  Consider crowdfunding.
  • Do you have a corporate heavy board? Ask them for sponsorship contacts.
  • Does your next project have a health or community focus? Approach a private foundation.
  • Is your organisation subscriber-based? Run an annual giving drive.
  • Is your target audience niche or unique? Approach sponsors that have or want the same audience.
  • Do you host a high-profile event, or have well-known people in your orbit? Consider major donors or sponsors.
  • Do you have long-term and passionate supporters, members or subscribers?  Time to hone your bequest program.
  • Are you fundraising for a small, specific and high-impact project? Establish a donors circle.

Don’t forget, you can revise your plan as you go. Not all of your ideas will work out, your circumstances may change, and you may find new sources along the way.