Developing your Fundraising Plan
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 are 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:
- Your case for support. For a deeper dive, check out our informative video
- Your organisation’s key objectives requiring financial resources – these should be clear, measurable and costed
- Your specific strategies, annual fundraising targets and timeline
- An action plan – what needs to be done, by when and by whom
- A stewardship plan – you need to build in time to nurture the relationships you have built. For more details, check out the video
- Your budget, resources and expected return on investment
Focus on your fundraising targets and strategies
This will be a mix of strategies based on your organisation’s particular situation. You should consider variables like how long you have been in business, your location, resources available, your board’s skills and capacity, the make-up of your audience and your business goals.
- Do you have a large and engaged social network? If so, you may consider crowdfunding.
- Do you have a corporate-heavy Board? This might give you a competitive advantage to secure business sponsors.
- Does your next project have a health or community focus? This might suggest approaching a private foundation.
- Is your organisation well established with a strong subscriber base? A well-executed, annual giving drive might be best.
- Is your target audience niche or specific? Perhaps there are sponsors that have or want the same audience.
- Do you host high-profile events, or have well-known people in your orbit? These opportunities are likely to appeal to major donors or business sponsors.
- Do you have long-term and passionate supporters, members, or subscribers? A bequest program could offer long-term benefits.
- Are you fundraising for a small, specific, and high-impact project? Perhaps establishing a donor circle might be a good option.
A good fundraising plan should springboard you into action with many well thought out fundraising options, specific to your needs and situation. Remember, the more specific you can be about your objectives and needs, the more successful your fundraising will be. In summary a fundraising plan simply lays out what you need to fundraise for, how much you need and then where this money is most likely to come from. Don’t forget, you can revise your plan as you go. Not all your ideas will work out, your circumstances may change, and you may find new sources along the way. The important thing is to put all your energy and resources into the most successful strategies offering the best return on investment.