Four Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Fundraising Plan

So, you’ve been put in charge of the fundraising plan for your non-profit, but you don’t know what to do next. When creating a fundraising plan, it’s important to ‘rally the troops’ and gather your most trusted colleagues, friends, and fellow go-getters to help you create a good plan and then implement that plan. Before getting creative with your fundraising team and solidifying your campaign, read our four mistakes to avoid when creating a fundraising plan:

Not Having A Plan At All
It may seem obvious, but the worst possible thing that you can do when leading a fundraiser is to not have a plan at all. When a non-profit’s financial success is in your hands, you need to be organized and create a plan and then break that plan into smaller steps that can be delegated or implemented easily. If you’re not a good planner, gather a group of ambitious folks who can help you make one.

Only Having a Short-Term Plan
It may seem daunting, but it’s best to start planning a fundraiser by setting an optimistic, long-term goal. Whether it’s a financial goal, such as raising $10,000, or a tangible goal, like buying a new score board for the school gym for example, having a long term goal will give you a purpose for your plan. If you think too small in terms of your fundraising campaign, you may be shooting yourself in the foot and ruining the chance to raise big bucks for your charity. Make a long term goal first and then get down to the nitty-gritty with smaller goals that work towards your large goal.

Don’t Plan In Crisis Mode
Another pitfall to avoid is to take on the responsibility of heading up your non-profit’s fundraiser when that non-profit is in crisis mode. It’s very rare that a hastily thrown together fundraising event or campaign is successful, and trying to make great strides when you’re in crisis can invite a lot of stress as well as shrinking funds that are not effectively allocated. Don’t try to plan for speed or crises—take your time and get it right.

Failing To Have a Budget
Fundraising campaigns always cost money. Not taking the time to sketch out a budget for your fundraising campaign is a big mistake. Make sure to talk to your most trusted advisors and try to get a realistic idea of your campaign costs. Be sure to plan to raise money for both operational costs (to run your organization as a business) and of course extra funds so that your organization can do its good work.