We’ve all been there!
You run into lots and lots of discussion — and even dissension — even arguing — about the best way to go about raising money.
About what fundraising approaches will work best for your organization.
And you know what will create agreement and save the day? It’s your formal, written, annual fundraising plan.
BTW, join my free webinar Thursday June 21st at 4pm ET: “How a Smart Fundraising Plan Can Transform Your Fundraising.” It will be recorded.
Why do you need an Annual Fundraising Plan?
Because, as we know, there are lots of different ways to raise money.
The trick is to decide what works best for your organization, your donors, your community and your organization’s culture.
Considering all the myriad fundraising strategies out there – which ones are the best fit for your organization?
Among these, which ones offer you the most opportunity? Which strategies are a natural fit for your mission?
Where do you have good experience and connections? Where are your staff’s skills?
Should you focus on grants . . . or corporate sponsors . .. or possibly many small donors via social media and crowdfunding?
Many voices and many opinions when it comes to fundraising strategy.
First of all, everyone has an opinion.
Whether they understand fundraising principles or not: the CEO, the board members, program colleagues – are all voicing opinions about how fundraising should operate.
As a result, there are plenty of personal preferences to go around. Perhaps too many.
Everyone has their own “best way” that they think the organization should raise money. People LOVE galas. Or they CAN’T stand direct mail.
What to do?
Making fundraising strategy decisions based on data or on personal preferences?
Here’s a land mine to avoid at your organization:
Don’t make decisions about fundraising strategy based on individual people’s PERSONAL opinions or preferences.
Be careful how are you making these important decisions.
Because fundraising strategy impacts many, many aspects of an organization.
And these decisions are not to be taken lightly!
Listen to the professional fundraising staffers when it comes to fundraising strategy.
In fundraising, we know now which methodologies and best practices really WORK. And we have data to back it up.
There are decades of research backing up the recommendations in this blog, for example.
We now have excellent resources to guide us: there are books, blogs, conferences and massive amounts of data to draw upon for guidance.
Your organization hires experienced fundraising staffers, and you invest in their training and professional development.
So, listen to the professionals when they suggest new ideas and strategies.
I’ll bet that they know what they are talking about.
We now know what works with donors.
I’m always so fascinated by the latest research: proven, statistically tested information about what donors want, what they respond to, and what it takes for them to give.
Fundraising is no longer the seat of the pants, guessing game that it was in decades past. And donors have changed, too.
Fundraising is a well-documented business, with professional accreditation and best practices that can be learned.
Your best strategy to $$ success? Educate everyone about how fundraising really works.
Smart decision makers will take the time to learn how fundraising really works.
When board members, the CFO, COO, CEO, program directors, and everyone else actually understand fundraising, then they can make smart decisions on strategy.
For example, what might happen if everyone agrees on your top fundraising priorities?
Will you be focusing on donor loyalty? Or more events? Or major gifts?
When everyone agrees, and understands the priorities, then you have organizational buy-in, investment in the right places – and your fundraising revenues go way up.
Why you need a formal, annual fundraising plan.
The secret of a smart fundraising plan is that you get to CHOOSE from many possible tactics and strategies.
And you select the options that best work for your organization, your donors and your culture.
Your written plan will spell out exactly what fundraising programs you will be running and who will do what.
What’s more, when you STICK to those strategies – and don’t change them – what happens?
You get payoff with with happy donors and major increases in revenue.
Get everyone to agree on your annual fundraising plan.
When you have broad agreement, you have an annual game plan that everyone agrees on.
And you’ll be able to get everyone supporting one set of strategies that will WORK and – – – bring in the money.
Want my help creating a plan?
- Get everyone on the same page, agreeing on what you’ll be doing for the year.
- Allow you to be proactive rather than reactive.
- Allow you to build confidence in the fundraising program.
- Bring in the MOST revenue possible for your nonprofit.
BOTTOM LINE: Create a smart, written-out, logical Fundraising Plan.
And you’ll be able to MAX OUT your fundraising!