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Preparing for liftoff: Planning fundraising programs

By May 4, 2016January 17th, 2020Donor Outreach
Follow these guidelines to launch a winning fundraising plan.

For a nonprofit organization, the fundraising plan is your roadmap to success. While your mission may be reactive, your fundraising plan must be proactive. This is an opportunity to set the tone and tell your story to connect with potential donors. However, nonprofit fundraising is not something that should be rolled out haphazardly. There’s a lot of planning that’s going to need to happen before takeoff. Here’s a checklist for you to go over before your plan takes off.

Set your goals
What do you need for this fundraising effort to be considered a success? Think about your overall mission and your clients. What do you and your team need in order to be able to fulfill that mission? You should have a defined amount that you’re going to need in order to be able to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

Pick your outlets
Events can help launch new fundraising campaigns by putting a face to your organization and involving the community. Brainstorm fundraising event ideas like marathons, bike rides, mud runs or other fun activities. These events will obviously be part of your budget, so make sure to talk them up as part of your campaign and ensure a solid turnout.

Another medium to keep in mind is the Internet. Online fundraising provides a variety of opportunities to reach out to interested parties and convert them into donors. You can use social media accounts, email campaigns and blogs to get your message out. Make sure that the content you put out is informative and interesting, and not something that would be viewed as spam. Simply spamming people can hurt your organization’s image, and nobody likes getting spammed.

Make sure to include donor management software as part of your nonprofit fundraising plan. Make sure to include donor management software as part of your nonprofit fundraising plan.

Craft your message
Your message is what connects you with donors. It’s the “why” that follows the “how much” in your goals. Your message should express your organization’s overall mission, identifying the problem that you’ve set out to solve or the service that you’ve set out to perform. In addition to addressing your overarching mission, it should also get down to the nuts and bolts, identifying how these funds are going to be used toward this mission.

You don’t want to be shortsighted here. Consider your long-term goals so donors can see that you’re in it for the long haul and they know that you’ve taken the time to plan it out. This brings us to your timeline.

Build your timeline
To retain donors, you’re going to need to show them what you’re going to be doing with their donations tomorrow, next quarter, next year and so on. Feel free to use projections, as long as they’re reasonable. Remember to tie it all in with your organization’s overall mission and how your plans are addressing it.

Your message is what connects you with donors.”

Evaluate past campaigns
How did your previous fundraising programs fare? Did you meet your previous goals? Were you able to retain donors? Did you get your message across to new donors? Consider the ups and downs of your previous fundraising efforts and think about what you’d like to build on going forward.

Choose your tools
To make the most of your efforts, consider fundraising software. These are tools that simplify donor management, and help nonprofits like yours work smarter. Small nonprofits in particular, which have a few people wearing multiple hats and filling various roles, could use tools to save time and simplify tasks.

You’re on your way! To learn more about how software can help simplify your fundraising and donor management, request a demo of Eleo.