Fundraising is a particularly difficult thing to do in today’s world of budget cuts and restrictions, and there is a rising need for finding funds for so many organisations around us. The small organisation which relies on fundraising for much of its funding is fighting a losing battle for the sympathy, and the money, of the general public.
That is why fundraising needs to be what is an in-kind donation approached professionally, even if you aren’t a fundraising professional. Whether you are a full time fundraiser for a non profit organisation or someone who has been enlisted to run a small fundraiser for the local scout group, you need to be aware of the importance of a proper fundraising plan.
You’ve heard the old saying I’m sure, failing to plan is planning to fail. This is true of fundraising as well. Failing to draw up and execute a proper fundraising plan is one of the main things you can do to increase the likelihood of your fundraiser being a failure.
What is a fundraising plan and what does it do? Basically it is a plan of the entire operation of the fundraiser from beginning to end. What your fundraising goal is. What you want to achieve. How? With what help? With what product or service or appeal? Who will be your target group, ie the people who are the target of your fundraiser?
What plans do you have in case of a change of plans? What happens if it rains on your big day? What happens if an essential person (maybe you) is sick on the day? What happens if you run out of product? Have any other problems?
Who will be helping? What are their skills and time availability? What will they do before the day and on the day? Who is taking care of the money? How and what security do you have for it? Do you need change? Who will supply the change? Where will it come from and who will get it?
All these things go together to make a successful fundraiser, and should be in your fundraising plan. It is difficult to be specific because each item in the plan depends on the particular fundraiser that you are holding, but it is always important to draw up a proper fundraising plan well before the fundraising day, to ensure that all goes according to plan.
If you have it all thought out, everything set out clearly, everyone knowing exactly what they are doing and when, then you are well on your way to a successful fundraiser day.