It’s that time again. It’s fundraising planning time.
The fiscal year is closing for most nonprofits on June 30.
You get a tiny breather in early July and then you are right back at it – slogging away on your fall campaign.
Why not take advantage of this July breather?
Why not take time right now to create a dynamite Fundraising Plan that can catapult your fundraising to new heights.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
In July I’ll be blogging about fundraising planning.
My fundraising buddy, Sandy Rees, who is the guru of fundraising planning, will be our guest for the webinars.
She’ll give us an easy-to-use template so you can work smarter, not harder.
Your Fundraising Plan is your roadmap to success.
There are tons of reasons to create a plan. Here are just a few.
1. It tells you where to focus.
How do you know what to do and when to do it? How do you know how to deploy your scarce resources of time and money?
You’ve got to have a guide – before you start – of what you are going to do when – and what results you expect to create.
It’s wonderful to walk into the office and know what you need to do in order to be successful.
You set your financial goals – and you create a deliberate step-by-step process to achieve them.
And you know that if you “work your plan,” then the money – barring unforeseen tragedies – will be there.
This takes the guessing game out of fundraising.
- Otherwise – you’ll expend resources of time, energy and funding all over the place. And you’ll WASTE your good energy without getting the results you want.
2. It keeps you out of crisis mode.
Don’t you just love a crisis?
Aren’t you dying for some drama to add spice to your day and exhaust you?
A good fundraising plan lets you work smoothly and coolly.
You can keep your head as you work your plan methodically.
Remember the saying:
“Plan your work and work your plan.”
It just makes life flow easier. It lets you breathe.
- Otherwise, you just may end up in crisis after crisis. You might wallow from strategy to strategy – hoping that something will pan out successfully.
3. It helps you control the flow of work in your office.
With a good plan, you can time your major fundraising strategies so they don’t overlap each other.
You know all your specific fundraising goals and the potential sources of donors.
You have laid out strategies to reach those donors. And you have a nice timetable.
You can make sure that the gala is not happening at the same time as your annual appeal.
Or that your major donor event doesn’t overlap with an important conference.
You have the time to plan ahead so that each fundraising strategy can get done with excellence (and without crisis.)
- Otherwise: havoc may reign in your office.
4. It protects you from your board’s fundraising idea of the month.
We’ve all been there.
You’ve got an overly enthusiastic well-meaning board member. And she is all fired-up over some strange new fundraising idea. And she’s convinced that this, THIS, will save your organization.
What do you do?
Well, you calmly trot out your plan – that everyone has agreed to months earlier.
And you say,
“If we do this new idea/strategy, what in our current plan shall we give up? We don’t have the manpower to do it all.
With our current staff we can do x or y but we can’t do both x and y.
Usually, cooler heads with prevail.
Your board members will calm down, and they’ll understand the wisdom of keeping with the current plan.
- Otherwise, you are at the mercy of the idea of the week. And you’re stuck.
5. It helps you shift from reactive to proactive.
Your plan also keeps you from being buffeted around by what’s happening around you.
You don’t have be REACTING all the time.
Instead, you are PROACTIVE. You can initiate deliberate strategies, involving carefully thought out steps.
You have time to follow the best practices instead of rushing and hoping for the best.
You have everything in place so that your plan is effective, efficient and will bring in the donors and the money you need.
Whew. I can just feel everybody around you relaxing.
- Otherwise, rush around, lose sleep, create tension, and lose your quality of life.
6. It builds confidence in your fundraising program.
When people above you have confidence in you and your plan, they will leave you alone and let you do your work.
And they will smile when they see you because you are exuding confidence.
- Otherwise, if they don’t have confidence in you, they will meddle with your plans and your program. They’ll institute weird metrics to measure you by. Don’t let this happen to you.
7. You will raise more money.
Clearly, a solid plan will help you raise more money.
You have time to do the work required to court major donors, to plan an incredible gala, to weave in planned giving, to develop a sequenced year-end fundraising campaign, and to get your web site donation process working smoothly.
You even have time to take a vacation or two.
If you want to create your own killer plan that will take you where you want to go, join Sandy Rees and me in July. If you can’t attend the live webinars, you can listen to them at your convenience, with all the materials. Check it out here.
Have a wonderful summer. Take some time off.
And DO create your plan.
It will protect you and it will make your life smoother and happier! And you’ll raise a lot more money!