When you’re launching a fundraising campaign, it’s important for you to have your plan of action locked down before you begin. There are several ways to create a strategy that works, but the most effective use of your time is to sit down and do some good old fashioned planning, scheduling and mapping. Here are five keys to developing an effective fundraising strategy:
1. Fine tune your budget. Crunching the numbers is the first step. You can’t even begin to plan until you know how much money you will have to spend, and it takes money to make money. Gather your team of experts and find out how much your organization has in the first place, and then make a target goal of how much money you plan to raise through your fundraising efforts.
2. Know what ‘people’ resources you have. Assuming you have a group of friends, family members or co-workers that can help you out, do some interviewing to find out what their area of expertise is. Everyone has something to bring to the table, whether it’s being good sales people or being good at graphic design. Take an inventory of what kind of help they can offer you and then you can divide and conquer.
3. Catalog your external resources. Next up, take an inventory of what free or inexpensive resources you have at your disposal. Does your organization already have a social media presence online or a blog? Or can you snag some free marketing materials somewhere? Evaluate what you have and what can be useful to you.
4. Identify your target donor. When coming up with a strategy, it’s important to identify who your target donor will be. Who has the biggest stake in the success of your organization? Make a list of who your potential donors are.
5. Make a top 3 list. Once you’ve done all of this, you can start brainstorming about some actual fundraising event ideas. Some will make more sense than others, so narrow your event ideas down to three and start with your first choice.