Preparation is the most important factor in achieving success. This is where strategic fundraising plans come in. Many organizations construct a single strategic fundraising strategy for their entire company and mission, but it’s better to have different strategies for each of your big campaigns. Every campaign has a distinct goal that may appeal to different groups of people. As a result, each effort requires a unique strategy and planning. Developing a strategic fundraising plan elucidates why your campaign is so important to your goal and who your target audience is. Campaigns with this level of emphasis are better conveyed, more captivating, and hence more successful.
A fundraising strategic plan is a document that organizes all of your fundraising efforts over a specific time period usually in one year. Campaign dates and strategies, donor-tracking plans, special event specifics, and a targeted communication schedule are all part of these strategic plans. A fundraising strategy is intended to keep you focused and on track throughout the year.
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Creating a Fundraising Strategic Plan
- Create a case for support – Any case for support is an important part of your strategic fundraising approach. This is the foundational document on which your fundraising campaign and messaging will be built, whether it’s a capital or endowment campaign, major gift outreach, or an internet fundraising initiative. Consider a case for support to be your nonprofit’s campaign manifesto; it’s an internal document that serves as the foundation for all donor communications and solicitations for your campaign. It provides justification for support by describing the overall goal of your campaign.
- Identify supporters – Determine your most devoted supporters, on whom you know you can count to assist lead your campaign to victory. These are your long-term supporters, prior power fundraisers, social media evangelists, and most enthusiastic volunteers. You can rely on these folks not only to be the first to donate to your campaign but also to be the leaders and catalysts that mobilize others around your cause. Keep in mind that you will be communicating with these people on a personal level throughout the campaign. Putting hundreds of people in this elite category will most likely limit your capacity to reach out to each one individually.
- Identify prospects – Your list of potential donors is essential to any effective fundraising effort. It’s critical to be as specific as possible with your prospect list. You want to find any and all donors that are interested in not only your organization but also this particular campaign. Take your segmentation a step further after you’ve discovered these potential donors, and get extra specific about their ties to this campaign.
- Develop the plan – It’s time to find out how to put your strategic fundraising strategy into action now that you’ve got your campaign messaging, superstar supporters, and targeted donors in place. Make sure you have a plan in place for how you’ll carry out each aspect of your campaign.
Why do we need a fundraising strategic plan?
First and foremost, fundraising plans ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page, including staff, volunteers, and board members. It should provide your staff with a clear understanding of what will be expected of them throughout time, as well as the intended outcomes. These materials are also critical in changing a whole organization’s fundraising mindset. Let’s face it, a lot of fundraising is reactive. Problems like a downturn in the economy or changes in federal financing can occur at any time.
Why do you have to include the mission when creating your fundraising plan?
When it comes to fundraising, the range of campaign options and marketing tools might be overwhelming. The chaos of events, internet campaigns, large donors, and fundraising emails may cause your organization’s mission to get buried. The most important fundraising tool you have is your mission. Without it, your donors may lose sight of why they are providing and may quickly seek out a charity with more defined goals.
Your strategic fundraising plan will only be as strategic as you make it at the end of the day. The extent to which you are willing to be detailed and accurate will determine its effectiveness. If you’ve never attempted one before, this is an excellent place to begin.
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