You are in a position to make great things happen in the world. But there is no shortage of challenges you will face to make it happen. Time is your most precious asset and you likely feel the pressure of using that time effectively every day.
You’re not just running your nonprofit. You’re also responsible for delivering the programs, balancing the budget, training the volunteers, going to all the meetings, putting out the fires, creating the ideas – and raising the money required to keep everything moving and even growing.
What you need is a fundraising plan. A fundraising plan helps you define your nonprofit’s needs and allows you to distribute the work that needs to get done. By getting other people involved, you can get more done. With a clearly defined plan in place, they can take ownership of their tasks, ensuring more gets done without your constant supervision. By determining which staff, volunteers or board members will lead which efforts will help you stay focused and set you up for success.
Your plan should begin with the following:
1) A case statement describing the future, not your distinguished past
Before you can operationalize any fundraising activities, you need to explain your vision, the problem you’re solving and how you plan to solve it – because donors don’t give to your nonprofit, they give through it. You need to create a strong and compelling case for support that concisely describes what you do and how you know it's working.
What is a case for support? Check out this article to learn more.
Afterward, download and complete the Content Helper to create this month's cultivation e-message to send to your contacts in Donor Managment.
>> DOWNLOAD CONTENT HELPER <<
2) An honest assessment of your fundraising potential – and goal
How you have raised money in the past will guide how you raise dollars in the future. To give you some simple insights about where you can grow, take the steps to acknowledge and understand your fundraising history that shows your sources of revenue over time. The key here: set realistics expectations. Do not expect Oprah to give you a million dollars tomorrow.
Here's an easy-to-use spreadsheet to help with developing a budget that balances sustaining your programs with realistic fundraising expectations.
>> DOWNLOAD BUDGET TEMPLATE <<
If you have imported contact and donor records, you should be able to pull most of the historic data from Donor Management to inform your budget. Here is how you can create segments to find specific figures.
Need more in-depth training or still needing to import your contact records? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager here to learn more about help resources today.
3) A schedule and activities plan that are possible, not aspirational
You may have heard the saying, “what gets measured gets managed.” There could not be a more apt phrase to describe the function and purpose of your fundraising plan. Your plan not only is a roadmap for your fundraising activities but the tool from which you manage yourself and create accountability.
Here is a guide to review with your Board, Executive Director, or anyone who supports fundraising efforts. Use it to map out fundraising potential and ideas for new fundraising activities that will fund the budget.
That said, apply the following questions to any creative fundraising idea you or your board has:
Does this strategy fit with the mission of our organization?
Does this strategy represent a stable source of income?
Does this strategy build our organization, our board, or our volunteers?
Does this strategy create annual, renewable revenue?
The above, however, is just the start. There are many other suggestions that can work effectively when you consider the time you have to allocate to fundraising.
Could you use one-on-one coaching from a Fundraising Professional to guide you through creating a Fundraising Plan?
Reach out to your Customer Success Manager here to learn more about matching with a Network for Good Personal Fundraising Coach today!