Start at the Beginning
Your school or team needs to raise funds to keep doing fun and amazing things this year. But, where do you start? The key to a good Fundraising Plan starts with great communication and a great team.
Here are Five Tools to use to keep your Fundraising Plan on Track
1. Team Work means less Work
First, assemble your team and have a meeting to discuss the needs of the group.
What to consider when you are assigning roles and tasks:
- Decide who is going to be researching potential fundraising platforms, products and returns
- Put someone in charge of collecting funds, lining up vendors, dropping off product, marketing and analyzing data
- Make deadlines for all these things
- Decide who will make the spreadsheets to track all of that information
Above all, it is vitally important that you keep the lines of communication open. Because, nothing sabotages a plan as quickly as not having everyone on the same page.
2. Set a S.M.A.R.T Goal
Next, ensure that you include your overall fundraising goal in your Fundraising Plan. Be aware that this number should not be a guess. It should be based on the needs of the organization. How much money will your group need to raise in order to participate in the activities proposed? Taking the time to write out your goals is also important. Ensuring that your team will have a document to come back to for clarification, revision or inspiration.
Initially, when creating your goal document, consider making it S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Decide what your goal will be. Make it as detailed as possible. Avoid using any ambiguous language. WHO will be involved? WHAT do you want to accomplish? WHERE will this take place?
Determine how will you know you’ve reached your target. Can you track your progress? Are there markers that you can look for during the campaign which tell you are reaching your goal?
Is your goal reasonable? Can it be accomplished or do you need to make some revisions? Ideally, you will want to set an optimistic but achievable goal. Do you need the help of others for the goal to be realized?
Does your goal fit with your groups short and long term objectives? Is this Fundraising Plan worth all the hard work? You want the goal to make sense and lead to success for your group.
Set a time limit to accomplish your objective. It’s important to give yourself and end date. This will create a sense of urgency to work on the target. Decide on a specific day/month/year.
3. Time Line
Further, as mentioned above, having a time line for your Fundraising Plan is important. Get out a calendar and assign dates/times to specific actions.
- When does the ask letter need to go out?
- Know when products have to be ordered by in order to have funds in as needed.
- Will pick-up and delivery times need to be planned?
Remember, the more specific the better and make sure team members know what tasks are their responsibility and when they are responsible for accomplishing those tasks.
4. Tactics and Implementation
Here’s where you get into the nitty-gritty of the Fundraising Plan.
- Prep-It: Research and decide on a platform or product to sell. Make sure it’s not more work then benefit. Don’t try to sell products that aren’t useful or of high quality.
- Share-It: Craft and organize your communication and marketing strategy. Let your sellers know all of the ways that your fundraising campaign can be sent out to your potential supporters. Write up and send out your Donation Request Letter. Crafting a personal, clear and concise message is key. Likewise, you want to send the information out more than once on several different platforms and link them if you can: Email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Track-It: Lastly, you won’t want to start each fundraiser from scratch. Take stock and determine what made this campaign successful and what aspects you’d like to improve on next time around. Make sure to write it all down. As a result the next person taking over the organizer role can look back know where to start!
5. Saying Thank you
Finally, a successful Fundraising Plan acknowledges the teams effort. Therefore, make sure to plan to thank everyone that worked hard to get you to your goal. Use social media sites to spread your gratitude. Send out special recognition to your biggest donors and most dedicated volunteers. Ideally, you want donors to feel appreciated and likely to contribute again in the future.
Keep these tools in your pocket the next time your organization needs to make a Fundraising Plan.