9 Steps to a Powerful Fundraising Plan

Consultant and author Sandy Rees is the queen of fundraising planning.

Consultant, author and all-around fundraising guru Sandy Rees

Here’s a guest post for the first time ever on my blog.

I’m running this short, smart article from Sandy because this is just too good for you to miss.

Here are her 9 simple, believable, doable steps to a killer fundraising plan that will take your annual fundraising to new heights:

You know you need a fundraising plan, but if you’re like most, you don’t know where to start.

Although planning can seem overwhelming, it’s not really a difficult process, yet it makes all the difference in the world in the success you will enjoy in raising big money. You want that, right?

Let me make it simple for you and share the 9 steps to creating a powerful fundraising plan.

Step 1. Start where you are.

Before you can create goals to work toward, you need to know where you are.

Anytime you look at a map, you first have to find your starting point.

Do a quick inventory of what’s working and what isn’t in your fundraising efforts.

An honest assessment of your current situation can lay the foundation for moving forward.

Step 2. Identify your assets.

What have you got to work with? Great name recognition? Compelling mission? Something else?

Once you know your organization’s strengths, you’ll know what you have that you can leverage.

Step 3. Set your targets.

There are 3 fundraising targets that you need to shoot for – raising money, renewing current donors, and acquiring new donors.

No matter which fundraising techniques you use, you need to include these three targets.

Step 4. Choose your strategies.

Pick out the fundraising strategies you want to use that will get you the most donations for the least investment of time, energy, and money, for the greatest long-term gain.

Be very purposeful in your choices.

Make sure they will work for your organization and support your targets.

Step 5 Set your goals.

Once you know which strategies you’ll choose, set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Step 6. Create a plan of action.

This may be the most important step!

The action plan gives you detailed steps that must be taken in order to reach your goals.

It tells you who will do each step, when it will be done, and any resources that are needed.

Step 7. Work the plan.

Taking action is the difference between wildly successful nonprofits and those than languish.

You want to be a successful nonprofit?


Do stuff.

Take action on your plan.

Step 8. Monitor the plan.

Review your plan frequently to see how things are going.

If you don’t ever evaluate your plan, there’s no point in creating one in the first place.

Step 9. Refine as needed.

Your plan should not be carved in stone.

Things change.

Adjust your plan as often as necessary to achieve your goals and hit your targets.


You need to be creating your annual fundraising plan this summer.

If you need help, a template, or coaching, join Sandy and me for our  July webinar series (July 10, 17 and 24).

We will guide you to craft a plan to catapult your fundraising results. Join us!