How to Create A Nonprofit Fundraising Plan That Gets Donations

|6 min read Nonprofit Tips

No matter how large or small your charity is, fundraising campaigns can pose some major challenges. That’s why creating the perfect nonprofit fundraising plan is crucial to ensuring your next fundraiser reaches its goal. To help you get started, we’ve put together this easy-to-use guide to creating a fundraising plan that actually works, no matter the size of your organization.

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Creating your fundraising plan template

Before getting started, your organization will need to begin by creating a template for your next fundraiser. The fundraising plan template may vary for different types of fundraisers, but your organization should have a standard template to start with that can then be expanded upon, if needed. As you get started, there are a few aspects to your standard template that should always be considered. Below, we review different templates.

Getting your team involved

Any nonprofit fundraising plan template should always include clear roles for each one of your staff members. Large organizations can assign roles to departments and include a stakeholder for each department to report progress on their task. To ensure you get this right, start by determining what tasks you need for the fundraiser, then assign stakeholders for each. 

Getting your staff involved and asking them to take ownership of different needs for your fundraiser is critical and guarantees everything is completed. To keep things simple and make sure you don’t forget anything, here’s a short checklist you can use:

  • Tasks: Determine every task that needs to be completed for the fundraiser. Including fundraiser ticket sales, decorations for offline events, marketing outreach, and anything else that’s needed for the fundraising campaign.
  • Stakeholders: Have stakeholders for every item on your list of tasks. Assigning a stakeholder to each aspect of your fundraiser helps people take ownership and complete the work that’s needed.
  • Set Deadlines: Once you have your tasks and stakeholders, you need to stick to deadlines set for each component of your fundraiser. Aside from finishing on time, completing responsibilities allows your team to anticipate any problems.

Get clear on your objectives

Any fundraising campaign plan should have objectives. Objectives may vary based on the type of fundraiser you’re holding, but there are some goals that should be a staple for any nonprofit fundraising plan.

  • Fundraiser goal: How much money do you need to raise? This always has to be outlined in your plan. It also requires you to sit down and itemize all the expenses you’ll be covering with the money you raise. Donors are curious about how the money will be spent, so having an itemized list of expenses can help establish trust with donors. 
  • Your nonprofit’s mission: Make space in your sample fundraising plan for an explanation that ties in your organization’s mission to your new fundraiser. In order to get buy-in from supporters, making this connection is critical. You also want to make sure the fundraiser is truly aligned with your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Know your audience: Evaluate the level of interest your fundraiser may generate. If your target audience isn’t interested in the type of fundraiser you’re holding, you may want to change up your plan to accommodate supporters. As one of the objectives for the fundraiser, get to know your audience. Take a look at demographics, donation history, location, or other data points that will help you build out a fundraiser that actually generates interest and donations.

Involve supporters in your fundraising campaign plan

As part of the scope for your fundraising plan, include space to involve supporters in an official capacity. Gather a list of all of your volunteers and dedicated donors to develop a plan that includes them in your fundraising efforts. Record all the ways supporters can get involved. There are obvious ways supporters can help, such as volunteering, donating, and sharing. However, get creative and encourage supporters to go beyond this. Here are just a few out-the-box ideas:

  • Donation matching: Ask supporters if their employer has a program to help nonprofits through matching donations. If they do, encourage them to ask their employer to include your nonprofit in their roster of organizations they help.
  • Specialized skills: Reach out to supporters and ask them if they have any specialized skills your organization could use. For example, if your fundraiser will require a new web page but you don’t have someone on staff that can help with this, ask supporters if they have the skills to help out. This doesn’t have to be technology related either. If your next offline event is a barbeque and one of your supporters is an expert caterer, ask if they’d be willing to lend a hand.
  • Venue space: If your next fundraising campaign requires offline events, reach out to supporters and ask if they have free or low-cost venue space you could use. Renting venues for offline fundraising can be expensive, so use your network of existing donors to make your next fundraiser even more profitable.

Targeting the right donors

Your nonprofit fundraising plan template wouldn’t be complete without proper segmenting of donors. As mentioned previously, it’s important that your fundraising development plan includes some background about the nature of your audience. Targeting the right donors as you roll out your fundraiser can determine whether your campaign is successful and maintains the right pace to reach your goal. 

To segment donors and target them accordingly, look at your demographic information. Different demographics means you may want to create custom messaging for different audiences. If you don’t have a lot of demographic information, start with repeat donors and target them first in your initial marketing push. Start doing this, if you haven’t already, and over time you can develop sophisticated profiles for donors who prove invaluable to reaching your goals.

Put your fundraising plan into action

Now that you have everything you need to build out the right plan, it’s time to put it into action. If you’re still unsure of how to begin, GoFundMe Charity has all the right tools you’ll need for reporting and analytics that make it easy for you to segment donors customize templates—all with no subscription costs or contracts. Starting a fundraiser and creating a plan is easy with our tools, resources, and support.

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About Rosa Hernández