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Progression Tracker
Do You Need a Funding Plan?
Introduction to the Six Steps
Step 1: Establish Priorities
Step 2: Assess Capacity
Step 3: Set Fundraising Goals
  • Creating a budget
  • Calculating a fundraising goal
Step 4: Identify Funding Sources Step 5: Evaluate & Select Funding Sources
Step 6: Write & Implement Plan
Final Quiz
Sample Finance Plans
List of Case Studies
References & Additional Resources

Step 3 (continued). Calculating an Annual Fundraising Goal

To establish an overall fundraising goal, there are two simple methods:

  1. Create an expense budget and use the amount of your total expenses (plus a modest surplus) as your fundraising goal.
  2. Start with last year's income. Add a modest amount to allow for realistic increases in fundraising. Subtract any amount from unusual sources that you don't expect to be repeated this year (e.g. a bequest).

If you already have some expected income and simply want to calculate how much additional fundraising you will need to do, use the following formula:

  1. Add up all of the program expenses (both direct and indirect) from your budget, taking into account any cost reduction methods you may have employed.
  2. Next, calculate the guaranteed revenue for the next year. Guaranteed revenue is income that has already been secured for the upcoming fiscal year. This revenue could include multi-year grant money, interest income from an endowment, or earned income from renting a portion of your property.
  3. You can now calculate your fundraising goal by subtracting your guaranteed revenue from the total of your program expenses:

Additional fundraising goal = expenses (plus 5%-10% surplus) - guaranteed revenue

Below is an example of a calculation of an additional fundraising goal.

Graphic example of calculating fundraising goal.Example formula for calculating your fundraising goal.

The example shows a worksheet for a sample watershed group showing costs and expenses totaling $279,650, a 5% surplus of $13,983, and expected revenue of $275,500. The answer is calculated using $279,650 (expenses) plus $13,983 (5% surplus) minus $275,500 (revenue) for a fundraising goal of $18,133.

Calculation Worksheet
Costs & Expenses
Salaries $109,275
Taxes & Fringe Benefits27,550
Staff Travel5,000
River Festival31,750
Postage & Shipping 10,500
Materials & Supplies13,125
Donor Recognition 2,200
In-kind Expenses 7,000
Total Expenses $279,650
5% Surplus $13,983
Revenue & Support
River Festival$55,000
Corporate Giving/Sponsorships$40,000
Individual & Workplace Giving$40,000
Government Contracts $34,000
Fees for Service 10,000
Board Contributions10,000
Sale of Materials5,500
Interest Income1,000
In-kind Donations5,000
Total Revenue$275,500
Fundraising Goals$18,133

Citation: See Resources, Works Cited #8

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