Now that you’ve recovered from the holidays, it’s time to get back down to business. Before you can prepare your next fundraising campaign, invest in technology, cultivate your board, or steward donors, you need to make a plan.
Creating an annual plan for your development department—even if you’re a department of one—is an excellent way to look ahead and determine your needs and goals. What expenses do you know you’ll have this year? What donation sources can you depend on? Where are your gaps and how will you fill them? How do you want to grow your organization and increase awareness of your work?
Many fundraising plans end up being a set of schedules for appeals, in-person solicitations, events, and other tactics to raise money. But creating a development plan is about more than just raising money. It’s about demonstrating impact, increasing trust, and building stronger donor relationships.
When you stop and think about what motivates donors, your plan becomes more like a playbook for how to create meaningful donor relationships that lead to deeper engagement, increased retention, and higher levels of giving.
Answer these four questions to kick off your nonprofit’s annual development plan:
- How much do we need to raise this year?
- What are all the ways we can connect with donors to inspire and steward them?
- Who are my best advocates (staff, board, current donors, volunteers) who will contribute to a successful fundraising year?
- How (and how often) will we measure progress, so we can change course if needed?
Follow Network for Good’s blog all week for posts on creating a fundraising plan that will propel your nonprofit forward.