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18. Fundraising - Your Plan

Once you have agreed on your fundraising idea, motivation will be high and everyone at your non-profit group will likely be keen to get started right away.  However, you will certainly want to take the time to develop a plan.  Fundraising plans do several things:

  • They ensure that everyone has a job - and that their job corresponds to their abilities and resources
  • That time-sensitive materials and events take place in an orderly manner
  • That nothing is overlooked.  You don't want to set up the dance of the year, only to have no one show up because advertising and marketing were never considered.
  • Things are not repeated over and over, wasting time

A fundraising plan does not have to be a complicated thing, but it does need to be thorough and you need to make sure that each person on your team has a copy of the plan.  A fundraising plan can be a formal report that outlines what needs to be done, by whom, and when, or iIt can consist of just a list or two of tasks.  It can also be a listing of items in a calendar or planner.  The important thing is that the plan works for you.  Once you have decided on a fundraising plan or idea, you will need to develop a written plan to ensure that nothing is forgotten.  No matter what form your plan takes, it needs to include the following items:

•Describe what the big picture is.  Yes, you want to raise money to help the environment, or to save a park, or to build a playground.  However, you need to write down the best possible scenario as well as the things you are committed to doing.  Sometimes you may not be able to raise enough money for a specific purpose, but you may still be able to find a way to accomplish your goal.  For example, you may want to have a new playgound for the school in two years time, but your fundraising may not be going well. However, you may find some people who are able to volunteer their services in building this for you, so you can still achieve your goal, but with fewer funds.

•Your fundraising goals and how far you still need to go to meet them.

•Questions that need to be answered before you start fundraising.  If you have any questions - about legalities, zoning laws, marketing, recruiting, donors - list them.  Beside each question, list a few resources that could have the answer.  Then divide the list up among the group and have each person look up the answers to their questions.  This way, you will have all the information you need before you begin.

•Services you need to arrange before you start fundraising.  Do you need to arrange to take credit card donations (many donors today find this the most convenient way to give)?  You will certainly need to arrange for some pamphlets, letters, or other media to communicate the basic facts about your non-profit group.  You will also need to have tax receipt slips that can be completed and given to the donors for their gifts. In addition to this, do your volunteers need to be trained?  Do you need fundraising software because you are expecting a large volume of donors?

•Your fundraising ideas, each one described in full. Arrange fundraising plans that target grant-giving agencies, individual and group donors, and companies.  Casting your net wide ensures that you will be able to find the money you need.

•A time line that shows what parts of the fundraising plan will be put into action and when and by whom.  List all the steps that need to be taken to make the fundraising a success, put a deadline on each item and assign it to someone.  This is your action list.

•Information about your non-profit group, including your mission statement, what your desired programs are, when you were registered as a non-profit group, who belongs to your group, and contact information for your group.  This is information that grant applications will request and donors will also want to have this information before deciding whether to give money to your cause.

•Contact information for all your volunteers.  That way, if anything occurs, volunteers can easily be contacted.  You should also list the titles (treasurer, marketing) of each volunteer, so that it is clear who should be contacted about which fundraising issues.

•Information you already have about donors.  Any information you have - donors who may be inclined to give for your cause, donors who have given in the past, donors who have asked to be removed from your list - needs to be included so that volunteers know who to contact.  You want to make sure that donors are not contacted several times, as this annoys the donors, makes you seem badly organized, and also wastes the time of your volunteers. .

•List any resources at all that you have that might be useful.  Have a list of who has what resources.  That way, if anything is needed, each member of your group will know who to contact.


So, keep your actual goals (what the money is supposed to do) in front of you at all times, and you may find ways of accomplishing your real goals regardless of what happens to your financial goals during your fundraising.

With a fundraising plan, you need to work on paper, writing ideas and action items down.  The idea here is to move from general ideas and goals to specific things and items.  Try to create action items whenever possible, and assign a person and a deadline to each item.  At the same time, though, stress the importance of the larger goals to the team. 

The idea is to get as many of the action items done as possible, but if a team member finds a way to come closer to the larger goal, they should pursue that avenue of action as well.  Such a plan is concrete enough to get your non-profit going, but is flexible enough to ensure that your real goals are always what you are moving closer to.

Next page: 19. Fundraising - Your Team

Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents

  1. Fundraising - The Basics 
  2. Fundraising - Terminology
  3. Fundraising - Money
  4. Fundraising - Where to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
  5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors
  6. Fundraising - Research
  7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs
  8. Fundraising - Ideas
  9. Fundraising - Donated Products
  10. Fundraising - Bought Products
  11. Fundraising - Marathons
  12. Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles and more
  13. Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and Bazaars
  14. Fundraising - Fun Events
  15. Fundraising - Drives
  16. Fundraising - Services
  17. Fundraising - Tips for Choosing a Fundraising Idea
  18. Fundraising - Your Plan
  19. Fundraising - Your Team
  20. Fundraising - Staying Organized
  21. Fundraising - Communicating With Your Donors
  22. Fundraising - Advertising
  23. Fundraising - Letters
  24. Fundraising - Emails and more
  25. Fundraising - Person to Person
  26. Fundraising - Thank You Notes
  27. Fundraising - Grant Proposals
  28. Fundraising - Press Releases
  29. Fundraising - With Computers
  30. Fundraising - Secrets to Success
  31. Fundraising - Problems
  32. Fundraising - Conclusions


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