Can you confirm that all the time, money, and effort you put into your fundraising efforts are helping your nonprofit support its mission? Repeating the same fundraisers year after year can be efficient and impactful or they can be an exercise in futility, and for that reason, a fundraising plan template for nonprofits will help you reach your fundraising goals.
Fundraising isn’t every board member’s favorite task, yet it is an essential activity for nonprofits. When you give fundraising planning the right amount of time and use the right instruments, such as a fundraising plan template, you have all the tools for success.
What Is a Nonprofit Fundraising Plan?
A French writer by the name of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
A nonprofit fundraising plan begins with setting goals for your fundraising campaigns. To turn your wishes into goals, you must plan to achieve them.
A nonprofit fundraising plan is a written document that outlines your nonprofit’s fundraising goals along with a step-by-step plan for bringing them to fruition. A fundraising plan template serves as your guide for raising the amount of money your nonprofit needs or desires to do its work.
A fundraising plan template will help your board prioritize tasks and delegate duties. Your fundraising plan is also an effective tool for unifying your teams by bringing everyone on the same page.
At the end of the year, it’s very rewarding to see how your donations have grown and how the funds can help your nonprofit expand its programs and services.
Where Do You Begin with Writing a Plan for Fundraising Goals?
If you have a year of fundraising activities under your belt, the first step is to put a review of the previous year’s fundraising results at your next board meeting. With BoardEffect, you can schedule this discussion at the same time every year, simply by adding the item to your shared board calendar.
During your discussion, draw insights from the past results by evaluating your finances, activities, and results. Break down the data by assessing the total profit from each fundraising campaign as well as the combined total from all fundraising activities.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Here is a shortlist of funding sources to review:
- Ticket sales
- Product sales
- Corporate matches
- Government grants
- Private foundation grants
- Membership fees
- Private donations
Your board members are likely to have questions and comments about your results. It should become obvious which campaigns were the most successful. Be sure to assess whether the expenses for fundraising activities don’t outweigh the benefits.
Your board discussion should include a comparison of how your fundraising efforts correlate to your budget allocation for each activity. Also, take note of whether there was a carryover of expenses or revenue which will help you determine which activities were productive and impactful versus those that weren’t.
Use the data from past fundraising campaigns to create a new data-driven fundraising plan. A CRM or fundraising software program will yield a wealth of metrics that will help in planning, but also in evaluating the success of your fundraising programs and events.
For example, the following metrics can prove invaluable:
- Number of new donors per campaign
- Average gift per donor
- Increases in gifts per donor
- Cost per dollar raised
- Pledge fulfillment percentage
- Fundraising return on investment
- Conversion rate
- Board member participation rate
This type of data will enable your board to make better decisions about which fundraising activities to continue, which to modify, and which to eliminate.
Many nonprofits find it to be helpful to establish one major impact goal. This would be a larger goal that stems from all the smaller fundraising goals. Every small fundraising activity should move the needle of the major impact goal.
Once the goals have been established, your board or fundraising committee will need to come up with clearly defined, actionable steps for how to reach each goal.
The 7 Components of a Fundraising Plan Template
At this point, your board should be ready to start filling in the details into your fundraising plan template which will consist of the following seven steps.
- Set goals. Establish small goals and a larger impact goal. Use the SMART goal method which means your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time limited.
- Define your timeline. This step will give you a defined period of time by which you can compare your results.
- Establish your fundraising budget. Determine all expenses including administrative costs, advertising costs, facility costs, rentals, payroll, insurance, and any other expenses. Also, include payment fees for accepting electronic payments and credit card payments.
- Create actionable steps for small and large goals. Record the necessary tasks, resources and volunteers, and designate who will fulfill various tasks.
- Finalize your campaign calendar. Plot all the activities on your BoardEffect calendar so board members are continually in the loop of what needs to happen when. As a reminder, your board is fiscally responsible for fundraising activities.
- Create a spreadsheet that details descending values of desired gift amounts. Correlate gift amounts with the number of gifts you’re striving for in that category along with the number of prospects that may give gifts in that range donorly.com calls this the “gift pyramid.”
- Finalize plans and details. Assign tasks to staff or volunteers and be sure someone is available to answer questions, handle problems, and ensure everyone is fulfilling their duties appropriately.
In conclusion, your fundraising plan and fundraising plan template should be a living document that you can modify when things aren’t working. It’s better to modify your plan as opposed to modifying your goals. Enlist help from technology as it’s one of the most valuable tools you have for utilizing data and streamlining your fundraising efforts.
Fundraising planning is time-consuming, and when you give it the time it demands, the fruits of your labor will become evident.