Jun 18, 2013
Every nonprofit organization has to have a vision of how it can put charity ideas into action and where to take its community fundraising efforts, but being able to organize those thoughts and put them into action is where many organizations struggle.
It's not always easy to put together a business plan for a nonprofit, because there are so many different factors to take into account. There are online donations, auction events and, of course, annual metrics to follow. In order to make sure the nonprofit is on the right path and growing at a steady rate, management needs to have a plan to put its cause into motion.
Understanding goals and execution
In order to prepare for a fundraising program or launch a new project, nonprofit leaders should define the short- and long-term goals necessary. Carrying out these goals means having the right mindset and group of leaders to take on the roles and responsibilities necessary.
Fundraising requires a lot of planning as well as execution, and employees should be skilled at both. NPEngage recommends first listing potential donors or attendees who could kickstart fundraising efforts.
Nonprofits should then move on to:
- Donation gift programs,
- Increasing annual funds,
- And conducting research on prospective gift givers.
This is an important list of goals to keep in mind, and leaders need to communicate such initiatives to team members as well as the community.
Developing the fundraising plan
Sitting down to think about the actual fundraising plan takes an investment of time. If a nonprofit wants to start an online gift giving program so interested parties can fill out a donation form on the Internet, there are multiple steps that leaders need to keep in mind. Thinking about all of the resources available to the organization, they can start planning the mission, the message, and the medium through which to promote.
DonorSearch suggests defining the target audience for promotional reasons, when to start spreading awareness and how to go about doing so.
Some top tactics include:
- Direct mail
- Small and large events
- Online and e-giving
- And many more
Take the time to write out details and specific metrics that are necessary for the growth of the organization. Think about how the organization with introduce new ideas and be flexible with the progression of the fundraising plans, but always keep in mind the benchmarks and goals set early on.
Know when to course-correct
If your nonprofit is just starting out, you might not have a solid fundraising plan just yet.
You might find that the strategies you set during your goal-setting session don't work for your organization or your supporters.
The important thing is that you recognize when and where things went wrong and go about fixing them as soon as possible.
For instance, if you find that your direct mail campaign didn't do as well as you thought it would, regroup and think about why. Did you send letters to the wrong demographic? Were the letters as good as they could've been?
Asking yourself hard questions whenever things don't go smoothly can be difficult, but it will greatly help your nonprofit in the long run.