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It’s a New Year. Do You Have a Fundraising Plan?

Donor Blog

Happy New Year! 

Now that the calendar has turned and 2018 is here, it’s time to get down to business.

What’s your donor development plan for this new year?

And no, we’re not just talking about creating more brochures, building a new website, or increasing your number of social media posts.

Even though all those ideas can be good and may be necessary, they are tactics — tasks that help you fulfill your overall plan.

Which brings us back to where we started. What’s your plan?

Your donor development plan includes both the big-picture strategy for your organization — goals you set for growth and donor recruitment — as well as detailed tactics that help you reach those goals.

Strategy serves many purposes and is critical for your success. It creates a sense of direction, integrates your marketing efforts, unifies your team, helps you prioritize, and helps foster efficiency and productivity.

First, give attention to outlining your strategy. Consider these questions: 

  • What are your overall goals for growth and development this year?
  • What will a successful 2018 look like for your organization?
  • What three things are priorities for your nonprofit this year?

Next, create new tactics to help you accomplish your strategic goals. Consider these points:

  • Acquisition: How will you acquire new donors? How many new donors will you have added by the end of the year?
  • Lead generation: Unlike acquisition, which focuses on sending an ask to new audiences to try to get a gift, lead generation focuses on collecting contact information (but not necessarily donations) from new audiences. From there, you can begin sending appeals to try to convert leads to donors.

How will you get new leads and how will you try to move them to donors? How many new leads will you have added by the end of the year?

  • Onboarding: What happens after a new donor gives? How do you welcome them? How do we try to move them to a second or recurring gift?
  • Appeals: how will you ask your current supporters for gifts throughout the year? How will you get these donors to increase their gifts?

A good plan will feature an overall strategy with schedules, calendars, and messaging for each of these pieces (and probably others that you’ll come up with), in a way that’s designed to elevate your entire giving program.

Don’t rush the planning process and feel free to allow the pieces to inform one another (for example, a tactic may spur you to consider a strategy that you hadn’t yet considered).

You do need to make this a priority, though, so that you can move into the new year with confidence and anticipation.