Writing a Better-Than-Gold Fundraising Plan

Three people working on a fundraising planWhile many nonprofit leaders produce fundraising plans to check off a to-do box, you want more. You seek plans to help you stay on track, measure progress, and remind you of the next task. You want your plan to summarize precisely how your organization will obtain the revenue it needs to survive and thrive.

Have you created the best plan possible? Here are three criteria to transform your strategic thinking into high-quality documents. Read these insider secrets, and then check your plan.

Three Benchmarks to Ensure Your Fundraising Plan Helps You Grow Revenue 

1. Shut Backdoors.

Valuable fundraising plans first protect current income. They invest in donor stewardship and more. These plans outline how you will safeguard all your existing revenue, including government sources. For every income stream, you enjoy now, does your plan guide you on how to keep that stream flowing?

2. Be Anti-Diversity.

Nonprofit revenue is not a democratic process. Instead, it’s an opportunist’s gold mine. Less than 10 percent of donors give 90 percent of the donations in most organizations. Robust plans establish priorities that highlight income streams with the most potential return over three to five years. Does your fundraising plan highlight activities with the biggest payoffs, such as getting major gifts? Check your plan. Which income source do you expect to have the greatest return this year? How about next year and the year after?

3. Tell How. Really.

Last year, I worked with a client who wanted to increase a decade-old gala’s income by 25 percent. Given the event’s constraints, this would be wildly optimistic.

Yet, they did it. How? Hard work. And the plan reflected the gala committee’s decision to double ticket prices and add other upgrades to provide new value. The new ticket income provided 50 percent of the latest fundraising goal plus new activities to bring in the rest of the revenue.  In other words, the plan REALLY told how they would meet the fundraising goal. It shared who would undertake the tasks.

Does your plan clearly explain precisely how you will achieve your projections? Pat yourself on the back if it does.

Does Your Fundraising Plan Standout?

Perhaps your most recent fundraising plan was weak. Maybe it outlined grand outcomes, but the nonprofit made the same or less than the previous year. You want more. Use the above insider secrets to craft a plan to guide you to reach your revenue goals.

Contact Karen for help identifying and implementing strategy-based, data-driven actions and help to create your fundraising plan to grow your revenue.

Author
Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.