Top 10 Fundraising Planning Questions

fundraising planningThis tends to be the time of year for planning – both in life (yes, I was at the gym at 7am this morning!) and work.

Fundraising planning is the key to success – and it can also provide much needed clarity of your goals.  So here are a few questions to help get your planning started in 2015.

  1. How was your fundraising in 2014? Before you even start to consider 2015, it’s time to review 2014. Did you achieve or exceed target – or fail to reach it? What were your successes and what didn’t work so well? What progress did you make?
  2. Taking into account your successes and failures last year, what are you going to do differently this year?
  3. What does success look like in 2015? More money in? More engaged donors? More of the same?
  4. What’s your income goal for 2015? How much do you want/need to raise in total? How much do you want to raise from trusts? Do you want to raise more or less from individuals? What about sponsorship? Map out your income against your goals and break it down into each type of funding to get a clear idea of where your focus needs to be.
  5. What are the timescales for bringing in that income? Do you have specific needs at certain times of the year? Is there an absolute deadline that you must have all of your income in by?
  6. What about donor retention? How many of your previous donors are still giving to your organisation? Given that it’s cheaper to retain donors than it is to recruit new ones, do you need to improve your donor retention through better donor communications and stewardship?
  7. How do your resources match up to your income goals? Do you need to achieve more with less and if so, how are you going to do that? For example, if you need to raise more money but have the same resources for fundraising, what are you going to do less of or do differently that will allow you to achieve that increase in income? Do you need to concentrate less on one type of funding and more on another?
  8. Who are your perfect donors?
  9. What qualities do they have that makes them your perfect donors? Are they more engaged with your non-profit? Do they fit a certain demographic?
  10. Can you translate these qualities to help you to reach out to other potential donors?

Sit down with a sheet of paper – or a blank computer screen – and roughly map out the answers to these questions, and you will have the beginnings of a rough fundraising plan that will help you to focus your fundraising efforts.

Good luck with your 2015 fundraising – and please ask any questions you have in the comments below!

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