Do You Need a Funding Plan?
Introduction to the Six Steps
Step 1: Establish Priorities
Step 2: Assess Capacity
Step 3: Set Fundraising Goals
Step 4: Identify Funding Sources
Step 5: Evaluate & Select Funding Sources
- Fundraising Environment
- Estimated Returns
- Key Evaluation Questions
Sample Finance Plans
List of Case Studies
References & Additional Resources
Step 5 (continued). Your Fundraising Environment - Strategies
To meet the needs of donors today, here are 10 examples of strategies you might want to consider:
- Have a Web site that is up-to-date, appealing, and has an electronic giving function. Donors will often check Web sites to determine the legitimacy and viability of an organization (particularly important for young donors). If possible, consider chat rooms, blogs, and/or videos.
- Have staff and Web sites that are bilingual to meet the needs of your constituents, particularly in regions where cultural diversity is high.
- Be as inclusive as possible. Think about programs that cater to retirees and young adults, both of whom are a great source of volunteers and donors. Also, make a special effort to involve women and minorities in your programs and staff. Ask yourself regularly if your organization is unintentionally practicing behaviors or making assumptions that discourage multicultural groups from supporting your cause.
- The public is weary, so expect and anticipate questions. Maintain a high degree of integrity in your financial accounting, partnerships, and programs to show that you are working towards your stated goals.
- Create opportunities for volunteering or social networking (particularly important for younger generations).
- Work hard on maintaining your current donor base. Obtaining a new donor is much more expensive than keeping an old one. Communicating with current donors regularly is critical.
- Clearly illustrate the impact your organization has on your community. Consider marketing partnerships.
- Be transparent about how funds are raised and used. Be upfront about fundraising costs. Never report a zero fundraising cost.
- Evaluate the total organization and its outcomes on a regular basis. Make sure the results are publicly available.
- Partner with foundations, corporations, and other nonprofits in your community that share your goals.
Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of strategies, and all of these may not be feasible for your organization, but the list should help you get started.
Citation: See Resources, Works Cited #27