Did You Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail?

planFailing to develop a solid plan can hurt your ability to reach your goals, but by putting in place the right process and activities, you can drive your fundraising programme towards success. Here are four crucial elements that should be considered:

  • Start with a solid Case for Support. This important document should be the base for your fundraising plan as it will help you to figure out who your supporters are likely to be and ensure that everyone in your organisation is on the same page with regard to your messaging.
  • Identify and understand your prospects. Who are the people or organisations that are most likely to care about what you do? What kind and level of support can they give? What are their motivations for supporting you? How can you give them what they are looking for from you?
  • Determine your methods of engagement. Does your programme appeal to a wide range of individual donors who may respond well to a direct mail ask? Or do you have a strong pool of major donor prospects where meeting them one on one would be more appropriate? Do you already run activities, such as open days or project visits, that could be used as effective donor cultivation opportunities?
  • Make sure your plan matches your resources. A well-rounded, sustainable fundraising strategy would typically include a diverse range of funding streams, but this may not be possible in organisations with very limited resources. For example, organisations with only one part-time fundraiser might be much better served by focusing their limited capacity upon fewer activities that are more likely to create a strong return. Then as your income grows, you can invest more into diversifying your program.