The Secret to Successful Fundraising – It’s All in the Plan

INSblog5.3.12_LegendsandCC_2-GailEvery organization, regardless of its size, needs a strategic plan for fundraising to guide and support its efforts. A strategic plan for fundraising identifies specific funding needs to operate effectively and a detailed plan for obtaining those resources. It will help to sustain your organization over the long-term and to stay focused on its mission, instead of just worrying about day-to-day survival.

The goal in developing a strategic plan for fundraising is to create a realistic plan which the organization truly “owns” and is ready to implement. Your organization’s board, executive director, and staff are integral in the development of a meaningful strategic plan for fundraising.

The key components of a successful strategic plan for fundraising are as follows:

Community Needs. Identify current trends and forecast community concerns over the next three to five years that fit within the organization’s industry.

Mission Statement. Evaluate your organization’s mission statement. The mission statement justifies the organization’s purpose and articulates which community issues and concerns it addresses and fulfills.

Funding Needs. Determine your organization’s current, near-term and long-term funding requirements for special projects, programs, and physical plant expansion.

Case Statement. Develop a case statement for your organization. A case statement describes the organization’s distinctive merit and needs for seeking private contributed support, and articulates the most compelling reasons why someone should contribute.

Constituency of Contributors. Identify individuals, foundations, and businesses as potential donors to the organization, evaluate their contribution potential, and then assess the best way to solicit them.

Fundraising Methodology. Develop a fundraising methodology for the solicitation of tax deductible contributions to your organization that is cost effective and result-oriented.

Organization and Leadership. Evaluate the specific responsibilities for the governing board based upon the established volunteer leadership requirements, with particular emphasis on fundraising duties.

Donor and Volunteer Recognition. Identify the most appropriate methods to acknowledge donors and volunteers.

Administrative Systems and Procedures. Evaluate the efficiency of established procedures for the receipt, acknowledgement, recording and reporting of contributions and pledges.

Professional Staff. Provide professional staff the resources, time and experience necessary to meet fundraising goals and expectations.

Fundraising Materials. Determine the number and nature of printed materials that will be used in fundraising efforts, e.g. proposals, annual reports, brochures, and pledge forms.

Timeline. Establish a realistic timeline to achieve specific goals and objectives for your organization.

A well-developed strategic plan for fundraising can become a powerful tool for building your organization’s capacity and sustainability.

The following article was written by Ruth Peebles, MPA, and President of The INS Group, a national consulting firm that provides organizational development and capacity building services to nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based institutions. Services include grant writing, grant research, strategic planning, strategic fund development planning, succession planning, executive coaching, and board training and board development. Ms. Peebles can be reached at [email protected]

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