The number one indicator of individual donor fundraising success is having a plan. You know you need one—and one you can stick to. The question is: how do you create a really solid plan?
Don’t let writing a fundraising plan overwhelm you. It’s not as complex as you might think. Check out these seven steps and download our Super Simple Fundraising Plan to get the ball rolling. Before you know it, you’ll be a planning pro!
Step 1: Reflect on the past year.
Review your fundraising activities and results from the previous year. Use your fundraising software to analyze your data and answer these essential questions:
- How much did you raise from each of your individual donor activities?
- What were your biggest successes?
- What were your biggest challenges?
Step 2: Identify your resources.
Take stock of your organization’s resources (money, staff time, board, volunteers, technology, etc) and how they can support your fundraising efforts in the coming year.
Step 3: Name the activities you have to find new donors, renew current donors, and upgrade donors.
Create a plan that includes specific tactics to attract, renew, and upgrade donors. Each donor segment requires a different approach. All three together can significantly increase the amount you raise year after year.
Step 4: Create your goals for each activity.
What do you want your planned fundraising activities to accomplish? Beyond dollars raised, your goals may include acquiring a certain number of new donors, increasing board involvement, or engaging younger donors. Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Step 5: Identify your three focus areas for the coming year.
Most organizations judge their success by one question—did we meet our financial goal? Growing future giving means investing in activities that will make a difference in the future even if they don’t generate immediate revenue. Identify three things that you want to make happen this year and build them into your organization’s fundraising plan.
Step 6: Put it on the calendar.
Whether you use Outlook, a calendar app, or a desktop planner, plan out your activities for the coming year. Be sure to prioritize around vacations, programmatic events, and potential busy times for the organization.
Step 7: Make resolutions to set yourself up for success.
Have you made your fundraising resolutions for the year? What will get you to stick to your brilliant plan now that you’ve made it? Whether it’s an accountability partner, a set hour on your calendar every week to review the plan or call donors, put it on the calendar. And don’t forget regular check-ins with your team to evaluate your progress.
Download the Super Simple Fundraising Plan today and utilize our interactive worksheet to make notes for every step of your plan.