While many nonprofit leaders produce fundraising plans to check off a to-do box, you want more. You want your plan to summarize precisely how your organization will obtain the revenue it needs to survive and thrive. You seek plans to help you stay on track, measure progress, and remind you of the next task.
Here are three criteria to use to transform your strategic thinking into high-quality documents. Read these insider secrets and then check your plan. Have you created the best plan possible?
Valuable fundraising plans first protect current income. They invest in donor stewardship and more. These plans outline how you will protect all your existing revenue, including government sources. For every income stream you enjoy now, how does your plan guide you to keep that stream flowing?
Nonprofit revenue is not a democratic process. Instead, it’s an opportunist’s gold mine. In most organizations, less than 10 percent of donors give 90 percent of the donations. Robust plans establish priorities that highlight income streams with the most potential return over the next three to five years. Does your fundraising plan highlight activities with the biggest payoffs? Check your plan. Which income source do you expect to have the greatest return this year? How about next year and the year after?
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. However, the goal, combined with a plan, outside help, and hard work, was achieved. The plan reflected the gala committee’s decision to double ticket prices and other upgrades based on the new value. The plan reflected new ticket income. It provided 50 percent of the new goal plus other new activities to bring in the rest of the revenue. In other words, the plan told how they would meet the fundraising goal. It shared who would undertake the tasks. When we finished working on the committee, and the staff agreed, the goal was possible if everyone followed it.
Does your plan clearly explain precisely how you will achieve your projections? Pat yourself on the back if it does.
Perhaps you’ve last fundraising plan weak. It showed 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 to grow your revenue.
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