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Developing a Successful
Fundraising Plan

To have a successful fundraiser, you first have to have a workable fundraising plan, a plan that every one knows about, and is comfortable with. Remember, it is not a good idea to volunteer people to fill vacant positions if they are not present to agree to this! You wouldn't like it if you were volunteered in your absence, and neither do they.

 So one of the first things you need to do is to get every one on the same page, knowing exactly what the aim of the fundraiser is - is it to raise funds for a new roof, or provide books for the library, or new uniforms, or a combination of many things? If the fundraising is for various items, how will the funds be split if there is not enough to go round, or if you are hugely successful and raise more funds than you planned?To plan this in advance, can save a lot of unnecessary awkwardness later, so it is worth spending the time to do this.

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10 important items for developing a successful fundraising plan

by: Chris Edison

Having a good fundraising plan will ensure that everyone has a job - and that their job corresponds to their abilities and resources and that time-sensitive materials and events take place in an orderly manner. With a developed fundraising plan nothing is overlooked. You don't want to set up the world best fair - only to have no one show up because advertising and marketing were never considered. A fundraising plan does not have to be a complicated thing , it can be a formal report that outlines what needs to be done, by whom, and when. It can consist of just a list or two of tasks. The important thing is that the plan works for you. Here is a list of ten Items to help you in developing a successful fundraising plan.

1.Information about your 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.

2.Contact information for 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.

3.Information 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. Careful mention must be made of who is to contact which donors and you need to be careful to remark which donors have already given or have made a response to your query. This will prevent you from annoying people with numerous requests.

4.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. You will also need to formulate tax receipt slips that can be given to 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?

5.Write down your fundraising goals and how far you still need to go to meet them.

6.Are these 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.

7.Your fundraising ideas, each 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.

8.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.

9.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.

10.Describe what the big picture is. Yes, you want to raise money to help the environment, or to save a park, or to build an animal shelter. However, you need to write down the best possible scenario as well as the things you are committed to doing. Sometimes, as it happens with fundraising, you may not be able to raise the money for a specific purpose, but you may be able to find a way to accomplish a goal.

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 much 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.


About the Author Chris Edison is a successful author and regular contributor to a fundraising ideas information site reveals good ideas to raise funds for non-profit organization.