When you set out to plan your fundraiser, do you just jump right in? Most do. That’s great – we are all pressed for time and sometimes you just have to get things done! However, we have found that fundraisers that take the time to make a fundraising plan beforehand and really prepare a strategy not only have more successful fundraisers, they also are far less stressed when it comes to crunch time. It sounds simple enough – plan ahead to get ahead – but we all know that sometimes things come up and you can’t plan out every last detail. However, this fundraising plan is easy to do and quick – and it will ultimately save you time overall on your fundraiser. Let’s check it out!
Whether it’s a large school fundraiser, a small church fundraiser or a last-minute try at raising funds for your team uniforms, a fundraising plan will help you visualize all of your efforts from start to finish and let you focus on potential problem areas.
Starting out – who should prepare the plan? If you have a organization director, they should definitely be on board with the plan. Any coach or fundraiser chair is also a prime candidate for writing the plan. You want someone who will be making the decisions in the long run and who can delegate the tasks to your fundraising team.
Next, identify your goal. Your ending point should be clear from the start of your fundraiser – what do you want to achieve and how much time do you have? Do you have a budget available for any costs incurred throughout your fundraising process? It’s best to have all of these points in mind when setting your goals.
Once you have a clear goal, tackle the mission. You now know how much you need, but it’s time to clarify what you will use the funds for. Defining the mission now will also make it easier when you are putting together ideas for promotions and how to best motivate people to support your fundraiser!
What are your fundraising methods? Now that you know the “what” and “why,” it’s time to take on the “how.” How are you going to raise the necessary funds? Will you be doing an event? Are you working with different companies to run different fundraisers throughout the school year? Plan it out! Jot down the contact information and details for every company you plan on working with – and make estimates of how much money you think will be raised with each event. That way you can plan out goals and easily identify if you are on the right track. Come up with a good mix of ideas just in case
Next, take a look at your timing. You have your budget, mission and ideas at the ready but it’s all for nothing if you don’t approximate the time needed for each activity. Timelines are also helpful for setting calendar deadlines and getting things done. You know when to follow up, you have a general idea of what to expect and can also identify areas where issues may occur or you may run into some roadblocks. Get as detailed as possible: make deadlines for yourself for when decisions need to be made, when to contact volunteers, when to send out fundraising cover letters, etc. The more detail the better, since then you’ll get the full scope of what needs to be done and when.
You’re all set! See? It wasn’t so bad. And this plan will certainly help you have the most successful fundraiser ever!