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). Key Questions to Evaluate Funding Options
One of the biggest challenges associated with fundraising is selecting which sources to pursue. In addition to keeping the funding environment, diversity, estimated income, and sustainability of your funding sources in mind, you must consider feasibility. Each alternative has pros and cons. Some funding sources require considerable time, such as special events, but may yield long-term donors. Others, like government grants, may provide a large infusion of cash but be less reliable. Here are a few questions that will help you think about which fundraising sources and their associated activities are appropriate for your organization:
- Can this fundraising activity be integrated into program activities that are already planned? Fundraising should be embedded in all of your organization's activities, rather than as a separate part of your organization. Whenever staff members are doing programming, they should always ask themselves how they can incorporate a fundraising component, recruit members, or maintain strong relationships with existing members.
- Will this strategy result in non-monetary benefits? (e.g. media exposure, new partnerships)?
- Do we have the resources (upfront money, people, skills, partners, and planning time) to carry it out? Remember to consider implementation and feasibility while developing your strategy. Even the most innovative ideas will fail if not implemented properly.
- Has this strategy worked well for us or groups like ours in the past?
- Will our target constituencies respond well to this strategy? What is the worst thing/best thing that could happen?
- Can we get everyone (staff members, board members, volunteers, etc.) involved in our fundraising strategy?
Citation: See Resources, Works Cited #31