The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How a Fundraising Plan Can Save You From Bad Ideas

Non Profit CRM

Lewis Carroll once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

This is definitely true for fundraising.

Heather Yandow, founder of the Individual Donor Benchmarks Report, discovered through her research of small and mighty nonprofits that nonprofits are more successful when they have a written fundraising plan.

Fundraising plans are your friend. They are especially helpful when well-meaning people suggest fundraising activities that aren’t practical or profitable. Here are a few of my favorites:

We should rent a billboard on the 595 Expressway because hundreds of thousands of cars drive by every day.” How many donations have you made to organizations whose billboards you fly by at 70 mph?

“We should go to private schools and pass a can around so kids can donate.  We could easily raise $1,000 per month.”  Schools are trying to raise money themselves. I’m sure they’d love to give up their fundraising revenues to a competitor! 

And here’s a gem… “We need to educate our college students on the importance of being monthly donors.  We could do a monthly giving campaign and ask every student to give $1 per month.”  Transaction costs would eat up a third of the gift, not to mention the staff time to prepare thank you letters, donor recognition, etc. We’d be LOSING money. Are you crazy?

Fundraising plans have saved me from having to discuss not-so-great ideas suggested by well-intentioned people. My plan helps me respond diplomatically:

“I appreciate you taking time to share your ideas, Mrs. Jones. They don’t fit into our fundraising plan for 2017. I’ll be sure to include them as ideas to consider next year.”

Creating your plan can seem like an overwhelming task. But you will overcome this big hurdle once you decide what to include in your plan. Plans come in many forms, from a simple list of fundraising activities to detailed ideas of every event. During tomorrow’s Nonprofit911 webinar, Fundraising Planning 101, the plan I’ll show you is

  • Simple to complete
  • Data driven
  • SMART goal oriented
  • Comprehensive
  • Practical

You’ll leave this webinar equipped to create your own fundraising plan with activities and strategies to increase, diversify, and sustain revenues for your organization. And by using your fundraising data you’ll see the fundraising activities that generate the highest return on investment (ROI) including staff time so you know where to invest your fundraising resources in the future. You’ll also learn how to persuade your board to “get on board” with fundraising and equip them for success.

Fundraising planning is easy when you know how to do it!  Why struggle through it alone?  Join us for an hour and I will walk you through each step. Register for tomorrow’s webinar right now!




We’re helping small nonprofits raise more this year.

Learn More

Share your thoughts!

Join the conversation to offer your insight and experience. Have a question? We’d love to hear it!

About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

Read More

Want to raise more money and learn how to market your cause with bigger impact? You’re in the right place! The Nonprofit Marketing Blog is managed by our team of experts here at Network for Good. We’re here to bring you the best in nonprofit marketing trends, fundraising techniques, technology developments, and amazing nonprofit examples.

Want to be a better nonprofit marketer and fundraiser? Get alerts for free tips, key content, and other training opportunities.