Saturday, June 14, 2008

Want To Fundraise Better? Put Processes Into Place...

The benefit of having created AND IMPLEMENTED a fundraising plan (also called a Development Plan) is not just that your organization's leadership has become active in planning your organization's fundraising future - it is a road map for what should get accomplished, by when, for what budgetary need, by whom. It is, in effect, a calendar; job description for each task; and it should help you get organized.

Whatever supplies you will need to conduct any of your fundraising will be indicated by your fundraising plan. If, for instance, your organization has determined that you will conduct one annual appeal mailing in the fall, you'll include donation remittance envelopes in each of your quarterly newsletters, you'll hold one golf tournament in the early summer, and you will begin to provide direct services (e.g. counseling) and ask for a sliding scale fee for services (e.g. people pay what they can for services, if they can) then you actually know a lot that will get your entire fundraising operation coordinated, supplied, staffed, and underway.

From your fundraising plan (hypothetical, above) we know that your organization will need enough letterhead and envelopes printed for the annual appeal mailing (you'll need to estimate fairly how many pieces of mail will go out for each and print enough and then some for office administration), the invitations for the golf tournament, and the sliding scale fee payment plan announcement. You will need to arrange for a Nonprofit Bulk Rate permit with the United States Postal Service so that your organization receives the full benefit of its 501(c)(3) status (and saves a lot of money on its bulk mailings). You'll need to have enough postage either in your postage meter account (if you have one) or have enough stamps on hand. You'll need to arrange for the writing, layout, printing, folding, and mailing of the newsletters (and inclusion of the donation remittance envelopes) four times a year (and you may need to look into whether there's a retirees volunteer group or a United Way Good Neighbor day at that time to call and arrange for their assistance). The golf tournament will require all of the planning and arrangements that any special event requires (e.g. getting bids for full costs at various golf courses, selecting the course you'll have it at, arranging the activities of that day for attendees, coordinate registration, check in, dissemination of golf carts, etc.). All of these fundraising methods will require staff (or volunteers) and will need planning and implementing well before they are to happen.

Having a fundraising plan does more than just setting a road map. It allows your nonprofit to move from a grassroots organization to a 'medium sized' nonprofit in more ways than just getting your fundraising planned out. It helps your organization and its staff and volunteers get coordinated and underway.

No comments: