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What’s Your Plan? Creating Your Fundraising Plan for the New Year

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

Hi and welcome to January’s lesson: What’s Your Plan? Creating Your Fundraising Plan for the New Year. This month we are learning how I put together a Fundraising Plan step by step.

What is a Fundraising Plan? 

I think of a Fundraising Plan as a road map. You start out at one place, decide on where you want to go, and then choose your route to your destination. A Fundraising Plan is how to get where you want to go.

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Why you need to do it:

Writing and executing a Fundraising Plan has four big benefits. 

  1. It gets everyone on the same page. It keeps you out of crisis mode. No more Fundraisers of the month or last-minute fundraisers. With a plan, you know exactly when money will come in and how much to expect. There is no more cycle of we need money let’s do a fundraiser with little time to put together anything of quality.
  2. It helps control workflow. When you intentionally plan out your fundraising strategies and activities, you can control when certain activities will happen. This means you can more evenly distribute your activities and manage your time.
  3. It builds confidence in your program with your donors. When you can show you are financially stable and have a plan to stay that way, donors and funders have more confidence in your financial stability and longevity- making you a good investment.
  4. You raise more money. Organizations that have Fundraising plans raise more money. They focus on the strategies and activities that work for them and stop doing those things that don’t. They can plan in advance which means they can budget and take advantage of cost savings opportunities, lessening their expenses.
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What you actually need to do:

Step 1: Current Assessment

The first step is to figure out where you are. I remember when I was first driving and before the days of GPS,  I got lost. I mean I had no idea how I got where I was much less know where I was. In a slight panic, I called my mother and told her I was lost. She asked me where I was. Was there a street sign or landmark? I couldn’t find anything useful. She said well I can’t get you home until I know where you are! Eventually, I came to a street sign and let my Mom know the name of the street. My Mom was able to get me home because she knew where I was starting from. The Current Assessment is the same thing. You don’t know how to get to your destination if you have no clue where you are. 

The Current Assessment workbook is comprehensive. Don’t let that intimidate you. You probably won’t have every answer or do every activity. That’s okay. Answer what you can. Another great use of this workbook is to show you opportunities for growth. 

Step 2: Determine Your Goals, Strategies, and Activities

Next, you will decide on your goals for the coming year and pick your strategies to get you to your goals. Think of the strategies as the modes of transportation you will use. A comprehensive list of strategies is included in the Implementation Guide. Circle the strategies you want to use in the coming year.

Take a look at the activities under each strategy you’ve chosen and circle those activities that your organization will use.

 

Step 3: Income Streams Spreadsheet

Now, it’s time to use the Income Streams Spreadsheet to play with the numbers and activities you want to execute in the coming year. When you are confident you have a do-able plan, it’s time to move to the next step.

 

Step 4: Fundraising Plan Calendar

Use the Fundraising Plan Calendar to plan your workflow. Write all your activities by month and the planning activities to accomplish the activities. Move things around until you are confident these activities can be accomplished with the manpower you have available.

 

Step 5: Fundraising Plan Template

Use the Fundraising Plan template to solidify your plan. Strategies, activities, and milestones will be recorded here. Remember this is a living document and not one to be completed and put on a shelf. Put your milestones on a Fundraising calendar where you will see them regularly. Tactical Plans will give you all the details and to-dos for each activity. Finally, set your fundraising goals up for success by incorporating your fundraising plan to-dos in a daily, weekly, and monthly routine.

That’s all for this lesson! Go to the Implementation Guide to get started. Creating a Fundraising Plan takes about eight hours to complete once you have all the information needed. Give yourself the time needed to complete the plan.

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