Good planning is a pre-requisite for the success of any fundraising campaign.
While we know that it is God who provides the resources for His Kingdom work, we have a responsibility to do our part in planning and implementation.
Before you launch your fundraising campaign, make sure that you have the following:
- Well-articulated vision, mission and goals (VMG)
- Resource development strategic plan that is anchored on the VMG
- CEO involvement
- Board leadership
- Case for support
Your VMG is what you are going to sell to you donors and prospective partners. If you want to grow donors and partners over the long haul, they need to share the same dreams and vision of the future. Does your mission and vision statement inspire and attract people to join you? Do you have a long-term resource development plan that will accomplish your vision, mission and goals? It is easier to make plans for three to five years than do a one year fundraising plan.
The Chief Executive Officer, whether it is the executive director or the pastor, ought to be on top of the planning and fundraising campaign. CEO involvement is crucial in the success of any fundraising effort so better make sure that you get the CEO engaged.
Fundraising is an important role of the board. One of the reasons they are recruited to serve in a non-profit board is their capacity to make financial contributions. They also serve as spokespersons and ambassadors of the non-profit, and as such, they bring their influence and network into the organization.
Do you have written case for support that is compelling? What about that army of volunteers that you need in order to help you execute the 1001 things that you need to do in fundraising?
Getting ready for the fundraising launch
Are your marketing collaterals in order? Remember to give training to everyone on the use of the marketing collaterals. Make use of free media. Invite the press to cover your special events. Planning and preparing media kits in advance, news releases, and public service announcements are good ideas!
Fundraising Plan Worksheet
Sources of Funds
- Earned income
- Annual Board commitments
- Smaller donations from mass marketing
- Special events
- Direct Mail
- Phone calls
- Workplace solicitation
- Annual Campaign
- Membership dues
- Annual gifts
- Major Gifts
- Personal visit
- Giving clubs
- Honorary gifts/memorials
- Gifts in kind
- Foundation grants
Checklist for fundraising success (Source: Christian Stewardship Association)
Does your organization have the following?
- Staff and board members who have an understanding of biblical stewardship and leadership principles?
- An advisory or mentoring relationship with another Christian leader/s who have been successful in fundraising?
- A positive public image?
- A well-maintained database that tracks down giving history, etc.?
- Fundraising expertise on board and several board members who are active in fundraising?
- Persuasive written case statement?
- A systematic plan for soliciting every donor?
- A system to acknowledge gifts within 48 hours of receipt?
- A process of continuously identifying new donor prospects?
- An active prayer life among the members of the organization?
You cannot launch into fundraising without the meeting the necessary conditions that must be in place such as those outlined above. There are structures that you will need to put in order before you are ready to begin fundraising. Review the checklist and answer the 10 questions above. If your answers are affirmative, then you are on your way to fundraising success.