Whether you’re managing a small or a multi-million-dollar non-profit organization, the key to ensuring a successful fundraising effort is to develop an effective strategy. Typically, a fundraising strategy refers to a strategy that’s designed to organize all your activities within a certain period of time.
Thus, if you don’t want to set yourself up for failure, below are the five tips for developing an effective fundraising strategy:
1. Outline Your Goals.
If you want to organize a successful fundraising event, it’s important to outline your goals for your organization. By summarizing your goals, you can keep yourself focused and on-task on all your fundraising activities throughout the year. Moreover, the more you outline your goals, the more you get a clearer idea of what to expect of them, as well as its potential results.
However, when it comes to outlining fundraising goals, it’s essential to create a good plan. Before you start your fundraising efforts, you should make a plan on how you’re going to execute them. The following are the things to be considered when doing so:
- The kind of fundraising events or ideas you’re going to organize.
- The amount of money you need to raise.
- The kind of products or services you are going to sell.
- Your target market and most importantly.
- The volunteers you are going to recruit to help in executing your plan.
Moreover, when defining and outlining your fundraising goals, be sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, time-based, and relevant. That way, you can make sure all your goals will be accomplished right on time.
2. Determine The Type Of Fundraising To Pursue.
Developing an effective fundraising strategy means you should also identify the right type of fundraising events to pursue from the very beginning. Generally, your fundraising strategy will fail if you don’t know which activity can accomplish your goals. However, depending on the type of cause or organization you’re raising funds for, there are many options to choose from.
These can include:
- Fun runs – These are defined as runs that don’t require road closures and even special permits from the government. So, if you’re a non-profit organization with little operating budget, this type of fundraising event can be an excellent choice.
- Auctions – These refer to public sales whereby specific goods or property are being sold to the highest bidder. Because of this, they can also be an effective way to attract more donors and encourage supporters to spend more money in a certain event. If you’re a midsize non-profit organization, holding auctions can be great way to raise some money for your cause.
- Galas – These are large-scale fundraising events that include entertainment, dancing, dinner, and other raffles to collect money for your cause. Since these are considered as big events, they require more resources to pull them off together. But, despite the expenses and preparations, you can still have a much higher profit to benefit your cause.
- Art exhibits – These are art shows wherein you can tap local artists to showcase their work for a fee in order to be judged. Another way to use art exhibits for your fundraising efforts is to look for artists who are willing to show their masterpieces with an interest of selling it for your cause.
As you can see, there are different types of fundraising activities to try for your campaigns. However, not all of these events will work best for your needs. This is one of the reasons why you should consider the viability of your planned fundraiser. For example, you may ask yourself whether your planned fundraiser will be successful, whether it’ll generate enough money to cover your costs, and produce a profit for your organization. These questions will guide you in determining which type of fundraiser is viable for your non-profit organization.
3. Formalize And Strengthen Your Internal Operations.
Typically, the effectivity and success of your fundraising strategy may depend on how you handle your internal operations. This means that if you want your fundraising strategy to work out, it’s best to formalize and strengthen your operations to ensure they’re productive from start to finish.
In doing this, you should pay attention to the following things:
- Clear delegation of tasks – Be sure to delegate the tasks to the right people. For example, you should clearly assign engagers and connectors who will talk and leverage networks, the askers who will be responsible for soliciting donations, and the stewards who will nurture ongoing donors and promote relationships.
- Maintaining a timeline for activity planning and execution – Make sure you can keep track of your timeline for the planning and execution of your fundraising activities.
- Investing in the right software tools – Be sure to use the right platform you’re going to use to collect your fundraising proceeds. Luckily, there are many options to choose from like the GiveForms – Powerful Fundraising for Nonprofits, which allows visitors to donate using their credit card, through bank transfers, PayPal, and Google Pay.
- Incentivizing staff involvement in the fundraising efforts – Just like with regular employees in a company, it’s also best to provide incentives to staff who work hard in making sure your fundraising efforts will be successful. This can motivate them to work harder in achieving the whole organization’s fundraising goals.
With the things presented above, it’s indeed crucial to manage your strategy properly so you’ll not be distracted from your goals. Your failure to handle these things may mean drifting from your fundraising strategy, which is why you should ensure to strengthen your internal operations.
4. Determine Potential Donors And Build Relationships With Them.
If you’re looking to develop an effective fundraising strategy, it’s also important to identify who your potential donors are and how you can build relationships with them. Just like other aspects of your fundraising efforts, determining your donors is very important since they’re the people or entities who will donate to your cause. Without them, your overall fundraising strategy will more likely fail.
To help you identify your potential donors, below are the things to consider from the get-go:
- Giving capacity – When it comes to examining a prospective donor, be sure to take their giving capacity into consideration. This means that before you can wonder whether they can make a donation, check if it’s within their budget to do so by considering their business relationships with other companies, real estate holdings, and even their stock ownerships.
- Past giving – If a particular person has donated to your non-profit organization before, it means they’re interested in your cause and surely want to see your organization, succeed. Thus, if you want to find the right donors, make sure to factor in the people who had previously donated to your fundraising event.
- Board memberships – Another thing to consider when looking for potential donors is board memberships. For example, if the person is a board member, they’re likely committed to a cause more than anything else. Moreover, most non-profit members are wealthy and have plenty of connections in the fundraising world. You can use their connections to explore more opportunities.
As you can see, there are many factors to keep in mind when determining prospective donors. However, knowing who your donors are isn’t enough. You should also learn to build strong relationships with them so you can get the most out of their help for your non-profit organization. Of course, you can do this by regularly communicating the impact of their donation, delighting them with your fundraising efforts, and making donors part of your story. Remember, you need to refine your value proposition properly to ensure your donors will be convinced that your organization will realistically change the world.
5. Measure The Success Of Your Fundraising Strategy.
If you want to ensure an effective fundraising strategy, it’s important to measure its success. You can do this by clearly defining the metrics you want to assess or evaluate. Typically, these metrics will represent the key areas that’ll be used to determine how your non-profit organization has improved or failed. These can include:
- Event attendance
- Donor growth
- Donor acquisition rates
- Donor retention percentage
While these things are the common set of metrics, you may also think about other core sets of metrics that you can use to measure and assess the success of your overall fundraising strategy. Therefore, find time to gather all relevant data to help your organization determine whether you’ve developed an effective strategy for your fundraising events.
Typically, anyone who manages a non-profit organization knows and understands the challenge associated with raising money to support a cause. With proper planning and preparation, you can take advantage of a strategy that allows you to raise the money you need to create a long-term positive impact. Fortunately, by keeping the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to develop an effective fundraising strategy for your non-profit organization, which ensures you’re not setting yourself up for failure.
Besides, it’s also important to remember that your goal with your strategy is to fundraise effectively to the point where people see you are making a difference in the world, and that your cause is worthy of support.