Reader question: What’s a good framework for a fundraising plan?

first_imgToday, I’m answering another reader question. Beth asks:Can you provide a basic (simple) framework to create a fundraising plan (or resources to do so) – for a brand new nonprofit and their completely new to fundraising staff? Thanks!Here’s what Network for Good recommends in our Fundraising Campaign in a Box. (You can get the whole free kit here. It has worksheets, templates, etc.)1. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish.Any campaign worth its salt is about getting results. What results are you and your organization looking to achieve? When you’re planning your outreach, remember these three tips:There is no such thing as “the general public”…Instead, you need to segment your communications to be effective and targeted.Some audiences are more important than others. Think about your goals and who holds the key to your success. Lack of participation from primary groups can cause your campaign to falter or fail.2. Determine how you’re going to accomplish your goals (tell a great story).So – you have groups of people and actions you want them to take. How are you going to tell your story in a compelling manner? What themes, messages and ideas are you going to take from your arsenal of content to encourage action? Need inspiration? Read How to Tap into the Heart and Soul of Your Organization When You Write.3. Determine which communications channels you’ll use.There are a variety of online and offline channels that you can use to send the right message to the right audiences. Examples of online channels include your website, search marketing, email marketing and social networking. Offline channels include things like direct mail, paid advertising and public relations.4. Decide which resources you need to get the job done.Ensure that you have all of your tools and resources in place to make your job-and the jobs of your audience(s)-as easy, effective and cost-effective as possible.Is email an important part of your plan, but you’re still communicating with supporters via Outlook? (eek! Stop what you’re doing and read 5 Steps to Choosing the Ideal Email Service Provider)Is your website well-branded and easy to use, with a clear way to donate?Is your website set up to take safe, secure online donations? (I of course recommend Network for Good!)5. Determine who will execute your campaign steps.Accountability will make or break the success of a campaign. As much fun as it is to pass the buck, now is as good a time as any to decide which members of your organization, board or volunteers are responsible for the different portions of your campaign.6. Lay out how you will measure your success.In the case of holiday fundraising, this could be as simple as a dollar sign with a number after it. But take a moment to consider what other goals you may have. Wow your organization’s Board and leadership with conversation rates, list-building, website traffic and any other number results into which they can sink their teeth.7. Set your timeline and benchmarks.One of the defining features of a campaign is that it has a defined start and end. Now that you have planned out the ‘who, what and why’ questions of your campaigns, it’s time to determine the when. Continue to build your campaign plan by setting ownership and deadlines for the associated activities. Begin with the end in mind – if your campaign will run from 11/1 – 12/31, work backwards to be sure that all activities will happen in a smooth manner. Don’t use magical thinking to set deadlines! Run activities in parallel if you are worried about compression time-wise.Good luck!last_img

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