Plan to take the craziness out of fundraising

Part two of a two-part series

Link to Part One


Working from a fundraising plan can take some of the “craziness” out of fundraising. Anyone who has been involved in fundraising knows there are times when things feel chaotic and out of control. Staff and board can feel exasperated and exhausted. While we can’t take all the uncertainty out of fundraising, we can share guidance on creating a fundraising plan that can help your nonprofit work proactively.

In part one we shared three things to include in your fundraising plan. Those are: your fundraising goal; an initial version of your case for support; and an organization chart that communicates how board, staff, and volunteers will work together to reach the goal. We recommend incorporating the following additional five items into your plan.

Roles and Responsibilities. Take time to write up what exactly you want each member of your fundraising team to do. For staff this is a job description that includes specific responsibilities and – ideally – how they will be evaluated. Create the same for the executive director, board members, fundraising volunteers and others. Don’t be afraid to define how you want people to help you. When you define what you want people to do it is easier for them to say “yes” or “no,” to schedule the work, and to be accountable.

A time-phased chart of fundraising activities. This chart is the “heart” of a fundraising plan. Break your work down into quarters and outline the actions to be taken each quarter. For each activity, identify who is responsible, the projected outcome, and the timeframe. All activities should be centered around the fundraising tasks of identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors. Remember to review and revise each quarter.

Initial Targeted Fundraising Goals. Take time to think through where the money you need will come from. For example, what amount do you believe could come from foundations? What about corporations? Individual donors? Special events? Earned revenue? We recommend creating committees focused on each source of revenue, and that staff and volunteers work together towards an agreed upon fundraising goal. These initial projections should be closely monitored and adjusted as fundraising advances.

Gift Charts. These are part of the “science” of fundraising. They communicate the number of gifts required to reach a fundraising goal and the number of prospective donors that need to be identified at each gift level. For example: if you are seeking a $25,000 gift or grant, identify three people/organizations who know your nonprofit and have the capacity to give at that level. This helps stabilize your fundraising: if one says “no” you already have another qualified prospect to solicit.

Budget. It takes money to raise money. Take the time to define how much it will cost to raise the funds you need. This could include salaries and benefits as well as printing, postage, web design, photography, donor management software and support, consultants, premiums, office supplies, and graphic design, among other costs.

Take some time to create a fundraising plan and to work from it: your nonprofit is worth it.

Additional Related Resources:

  1. How will you fund your strategic plan
  2. Vision, mission and fundraising
  3. To hire or to plan, which comes first

Link to Part One


Don’t forget:


Copyright 2021 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2021 Video and phone conferencing services always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.

This week on FUNdraising Good Times....

1 comment on “Plan to take the craziness out of fundraising”

  1. Pingback: How diverse is your fundraising? | Saad&Shaw

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: