Lesson 2: Creation of a fundraising plan

Non-profit organizations and also SMEs, may begin their fundraising journey without a fundraising strategy. Unorganized and unscheduled fundraising efforts are a recipe for stress and, finally, financial ruin.

Even if your crowdfunding campaign or activity is tiny and you just want to collect a few hundred dollars, your organization need a clear, well-written fundraising plan.

Even if you are in the thick of events, mailings, and phone calls, a written plan may help you focus your efforts, plan out your yearly fundraising calendar, and give strategic and tactical guidance.

In the chaotic world of the development office, your fundraising plan will keep you sane.

Examine your past to begin the planning process. Examine, in particular, your previous year’s actions and statistics.

  • What is the answer? What happened? How much time and money did it take you to raise?
  • How much money did you make the previous year? Make a list of your fundraising efforts and the results.
  • What are your most remarkable achievements? Examine the places where you made an impact and your most memorable experiences.
  • What were the most challenging obstacles you faced? Consider what went wrong or what further time, effort, or resources are needed.

This might involve making specific improvements to continuing projects, such as scheduling more frequent meetings with possible major donors, or inventing whole new objectives, such as introducing a recurring giving program.

Before you start it is important to set your goal. But sometimes setting your goal might be more difficult than you might believe. It that case you can ask yourself some questions for example:

  • How much money do you need?”
  • Why do you need it?, What do you intend to do with the funds raised?
  • What is the purpose of your organization?
  • What is your operational budget, and why is it so large?
  • Has your company established a recurring donation program? What can you do to increase the number of donors to the program?
  • How much has your board contributed to your fundraising and supporter growth goals? What can you do to encourage them to work harder?

Once you’ve determined how much you need to raise and why you need to raise it, you must devise a strategy for raising the whole amount. What strategies will you use this year to increase your desired amount? How much money do you raise each year? Calculate this year’s goal based on the funds you collected last year and also How many total donations do you have? How many do you think you’ll be able to attain this year over last?

Go into depth here, and determine an objective for each of the methods that contributes to your overall aim. The beauty of this method is that it ensures that everyone is aware of your priorities and the possible consequences if you alter course or fail to achieve a deadline.

Be realistic about the availability and restrictions of resources. The majority of businesses  will begin by reviewing their budget.

Budget: How much money is required for fundraising? Are there any limitations to consider, such as grant periods or donations given to certain campaigns?

Staff: When establishing your fundraising strategy, keep your staff’s experience and time in mind. Do you have the necessary resources to begin a new fundraising initiative? Will you need to spend money on training or find volunteers?

Technology: Is it vital for your SMEs’ technology to be upgraded? What technology does it presently have? Check to see whether your current platforms can continue to grow in line with your efforts, or if it’s time to invest in new software.

Making an inventory of your current resources can assist you in making your goals more reachable and ensuring that all of your resources are being used to their full potential.

Donor identification: If your organization wants to grow, it must acquire new contributors. Launching a new marketing strategy, diversifying your marketing channels, running a peer-to-peer campaign, collaborating with other organizations, and staging public events are all ways to increase contributions.

Donor fervor: Keeping current donors is much less expensive than finding new ones. Personalizing communications, gathering and using donor feedback, and providing solutions to ease recurring giving are all ways to keep your donations coming in.

Increasing the number of current donors. The worth of each of your contributors will grow over time, but only if you encourage them to consider raising their contribution levels. You may improve your current donors’ experience by introducing a scheduled giving program, a membership program, doing prospect research, and otherwise enhancing the donor experience.

Many organizations and businesses make this mistake: they have a strong budget, a foreseeable purpose, and a strategy that includes a sound set of fundraising strategies, but they fail to establish timetables and therefore never seem to get things done.

Set objectives and deadlines to help you track your progress. Use the appropriate tool for your requirements, whether it’s a paper calendar, an Excel spreadsheet, an online program that syncs with other objects, or a downloadable template. Put established obligations, such as events, board meetings, grant deadlines, and staff vacations, first on the calendar.

Organizing your fundraising plan appeals difficult not only in the beginning but also during the entire process. Based on this it is vital to focus also on finishing appropriately your fundraising plan. Obviously no one is expecting from SMEs and NEET people to be overqualified or totally experienced regarding the fundraising process. Yet it is important to have imprinted in your mind what you what to do from the very beginning till the end.

If you are a NEET person or a SME or an organization/entreprise there are some tactics to use to make sure they maintain focus and finish their fundraising plan:

  • Create an accountability system. Decide how you will assign and monitor certain projects to make sure everyone completes their duties. You may, for instance, pair up team members or allocate each assignment to a specific person using your project management software.
  • Block out time for high priority tasks. Choose the tasks that are most important to you, and then block off time to complete them. You may designate a certain time for calling contributors and following up with significant giving prospects, for instance.
  • Hold regular team check-ins. Attending staff meetings will provide you the chance to check in on everyone’s progress, discuss information, and make plans to get anyone who might be stuck on a project unblocked.

Be sure to inform them and cheer when your team achieves success. If your team doesn’t achieve its target, take the time to analyze what may have been done more effectively and create a detailed plan for how you’ll proceed in the future.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency and Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.