Create Your 2013 Fundraising Plan: Get Ahead By Planning Ahead

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Some say there are four steps to fundraising – plan, plan, plan, and work your plan. Unfortunately, some of us are so busy fundraising that we feel like we don’t have time to plan. But, in the long …

Some say there are four steps to fundraising – plan, plan, plan, and work your plan. Unfortunately, some of us are so busy fundraising that we feel like we don’t have time to plan. But, in the long run, this only costs us more time (and money!).

In this webinar, you will start to win back some of your lost time by learning how to create a strategic fundraising plan for your organization. We will go over what to consider when creating your plan, the financial information you need to gather and analyze, how to develop your goals, what fundraising strategies will best meet those goals, and evaluation metrics for measuring your success.

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  • Haven’t presented on this in a few years-- how’s THAT for an opener? Really instills confidence that you’ve signed up for the right session, huh?Anyway, my point is that I reworked the presentation and we’re going to try something differentRather than looking at slides for the whole time, we’re Going to spend much of the webinar today looking at pieces of real fundraising plansBecause if there’s one struggle with this topic it’s that no one fundraising plan looks like another.Because no fundraising program looks exactly like another.It depends on the organization.That makes it hard to meet everyone’s varied needs with one webinar.And I think it’s important for you to know that there are lots of right ways to do this.
  • So I’m going to focus on the big picture pieces that you need to consider for your plan regardless of -- the size of your organization, if you’ve ever had a fundraising plan before, how much data you’re tracking, what your budget is… Regardless of those specifics, there are certain things that have to be factored into your plan.
  • But then I’m going to break away from the slides and show you some of the different ways this info can look as part of an actual fundraising plan.So you can see it in practice and also so you can see the incredibly wide range of fundraising plans out there.And hopefully one of the views from the ground will feel like a model that might work for where your organization is at.
  •  Presumably you have some belief that a fundraising plan could help you or you wouldn’t have registered for this session. So let me just quickly outline the reasons I‘ve found that fundraising programs are more successful when they have a written development plan…
  • Gives clear plan of action for what fundraising you’ll be doing instead of flying by the seat of your pants, chasing the latest shiny object
  • Forces you to set goals ANDA plan gives you something to measure your results against so you can evaluate how you did
  • And in order to set those goals, you’re forced to look at your past results – what’s working and what’s not. So you actually have to stop and evaluate your fundraising.
  • Ensures you have balanced strategies – both solicitation strategies and donor relations strategies, different strategies for different segments of your donor base and your different audiencesBalance your priorities and avoid competing timelines – So you realize before you’re in the middle of it that if you want your spring appeal to go out in April then you’ll have to finalize the letter at the end of February which is also when you’ll be dealing with a bunch of March 1st grant deadlines. Having a plan allows you to minimize those conflicts and, for the ones you can’t avoid, you at least know when they’re coming so it’s not a surprise.
  • Track progress towards goals & identify problems as they arise so if you know you’re behind in one area, you have time to look for where you might be able to make that money up in another area
  • And I’m sure there are more. Maybe you’re got a completely different idea for why you want a fundraising plan that I didn’t mention. Either way, let’s talk about how you create this fundraising plan of yours….
  • You want to start by pulling together data on your past fundraising results.So look back and find data on how much you raised from different sources – donors vs foundations vs. fee for service or earned incomeAnd then you also want to look at how much you raised from different fundraising activities – your events vs your mailings vs a major gifts drive vs product sales…Ideally, go back two years to analyze your fundraising. This will give you a better sense of how things fluctuate from year to year.
  • After you get all this info, you want to take a step back and analyze it.  What can you learn from how you’ve raised your money in the past?Where does biggest % of money come from?What’s most reliable income year after year?Where is there potential for growth?What’s not producing? Can it be improved? Should you stop doing it?What’s your retention rate? How many donors who gave last year renewed their this year?What’s your conversion rate? How many first-time donors gave a second gift?
  • Doing all this is most important because your past results are going to be one of the key factors determining your goal for how much you’re going to try to raise with this plan. And because what you learn will inform the strategies you choose. Lets says ---you know there’s potential for growth with individual donors. Then you should have a strategy to capitalize on that as part of your plan. Or, if your retention rates are really low, you know you need to pay more attention to donor relations so that needs to be in your plan.But we’ll get back to goals and strategies in a bit…
  • The other pieces that are important to think about are the more qualitative things that are going to affect your fundraising. So, look at what is going on inside or outside your organization that could impact fundraising. What are the strengths and challenges that you’re facing inside your organization?What about outside the organization? Some of these may be things you have no control over.But they are all going to affect your fundraising results -- some for better and some for worse possible. So you need to keep all of this in mind when creating your development plan.
  • Now, we’re going to look at our first set of excerpts from fundraising plans to see some real examples of how organizations are detailing their past results in their plans, what kind of evaluation they’re doing, what kind of analysis are they doing…So we’re going to leave these slides and you’re hopefully not going to get too dizzy from my scanning through files folders and documents here.Oh, and you’ll be receiving an email from me after the webinar with a ten-step guide for creating a fundraising plan as well as some of the sample plans we looked at here so you’ll have them as examples as you create your own. So don’t worry that this stuff isn’t part of the slides. You’ll still have access to it.
  • Two kinds of goals for your fundraising plans – strategic goals and financial goals Strategic goals -- non-monetary related to fundraising Financial -- how much you’re going to raise & from where
  • A quick caution on financial goals – It might seem like you’d base your goal on how much you need to cover your expenses. In other words, take your budget and you’ve got your goal. And that seems to make sense on first glance. But that number really has nothing to do with your ability to actually raise that money.  Your financial goals should be based on a combo of what we’ve covered so far…How much you’ve raised in the pastThe internal/external factors impacting your ability to raise that money again or moreThe size and experience of the fundraising team available to help you And if what you project you can raise is less than what your nonprofit needs to spend then you see how big the gap is and talk about ways to bridge it – ideally a combination of cutting or delaying expenses, and considering new fundraising strategies that could raise additional revenue.
  • So with that, let’s look at how some real goals are presented in a few nonprofit fundraising plans…
  • Now the activities……. This is where you decide exactly how you’re going to raise money. What are you going to do? I think of fundraising activities as falling into one of four primary areas –
  • 1 -- activities to acquire new donors2 -- activities to get current donors to renew, to give again at same level as past support3 -- activities to get current donors to upgrade, to increase the amount that they give4 -- activities for cultivation and stewardship, where you develop closer relationships with your donors. It’s the contact you have that doesn’t include asking for money. And what you do here is going to have just as much impact on how much money you raise as the work you do asking people to give.And your plans must have a mix of all four of these.
  • So let’s look at some actual strategies and how they are outlined in development plans….
  • Once you have your strategies, you need to put them on a timeline.This goes for both solicitation activities and donor relations activities. Unless they are on your calendar, donor relations work will not happen or you’ll be scrambling to squeeze it in at the last minute. 
  • Decide what’s going to happen whenSome things will be one-time events – your spring appeal your fall newsletter will happen only once. But some will happen throughout the year – personal visits with donors thank you calls to new supporters
  • And you want to coordinate things so your mailing hits after newsletter and so you’re not planning a huge event at the same time that your grants calendar is the busiest.
  • Let’s look at some real timelines…
  • Last piece is how to determine if your success and track your progress throughout the year.You’re clearly going look at the obvious metrics like how much you’re raising from whereBut you also you to have metrics for measuring your non-monetary goals too.
  • So let’s look at how people are measuring their results…

Transcript

  • 1. Create Your 2013 Fundraising Plan: Get Ahead By Planning Ahead Tina Cincotti November 28, 2012A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: www.synthesispartnership.com • Strategy • Planning (617) 969-1881 • Organizational Development info@synthesispartnership.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 3. www.mission.doA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 4. Today’s Speaker Tina Cincotti Owner & Principal Consultant Funding Change Training & ConsultingAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 5. The Game Plan…
  • 6. Thank you for spending your valuable time with me today! Please stay in touch. -- Tina 617-477-4505 tina@fundingchangeconsulting.com TinaFCC on Twitter www.fundingchangeconsulting.com
  • 7. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: