How to Write a Fundraising Plan

Their fundraising plan included beautiful graphics and lovely illustrations. It took weeks to develop. The goal was to provide value to the organization. Unfortunately, it was worthless.

 Thoughtful fundraising ideas, not beauty, generate valuable plans. To write a useful plan, produce a set of logical, concrete, interconnected steps that show how you will grow revenue. This post outlines how to create a plan that raises the revenue your mission needs and deserves. 

1. Make A Map. On a spreadsheet, label columns for months, opportunities, tasks, goal money, goal people, previous, costs, and notes. On the left column, list the next twelve months. As you complete the next steps, start with what you know. Then, fill in activities for the rest of the year.




Goal $

Goal People




















































2. Opportunities. What opportunities will you take advantage of this year? List these in their column. Consider holidays, anniversaries, community events, and cause celebrations, such as October for breast health.  

3. Tasks: Actions plus People. Spend your thinking time here. List activities that you will use to connect with current, new, and potential donors. Include groups events and one-on-one activities. Assign accountability for each task. For example, in the March Task box, your readers see: Visit board members/ CEO.

4. Measures. Skip to “Previous.” Note any money raised last year and the number of donors involved. Leave this blank for new activities. Now return to the “Goal $” and “Goal People.” Fill out your expected result for each activity. Estimate using optimistic, but realistic guesses. Since all activities have costs, move to “Costs.” How much money and how many hours do you estimate will it take to complete the activity? 

5. Remind Yourself of Great Ideas. Use the “Notes” column to jot comments about estimates and information you don’t want to forget. You can also write: Needs more planning. Writing this triggers you to open your calendar and set a date to plan this activity.  

6. Move Forward by Stepping Back. Total the dollars raised. Total the number of donors touched. Evaluate your plan. Does everything appear realistic? If you asked the board chair from a competing organization to assess it, would they be impressed by the soundness of your plan?

7. All the Rest. To finish, add your value, mission and vision statement, your fundraising budget, and perhaps a joint letter from your board chair and CEO. Add illustrations and charts to make it pretty. But, remember this document is a tool, not a PR piece.

How to write a fundraising plan? Just like in cooking, you organize ingredients and tasks to create masterpieces. Contact Karen for help generating the revenue you need or to get more income from your current activities. Clients double and even triple their results by working with us.   

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