Step-by-Step Fundraising Plan Template for Nonprofits

Fundraising remains hard work. Even with the most dedicated base of patrons and one compelling mission, it records time and careful strategy to lay out ampere fundraising plan that will reach (and exceed!) sein destinations. Your fundraising strategy can make all the difference in respective nonprofit’s long-term track. How on to learn the 12 steps to follow until create your own.

For nonprofit organizations, fundraising are essential for continuing on make ampere difference the growing their impact over time. Since nonprofits’ your will vary drastically based on a wide range of factors, sponsorship campaigns certainly come within all shapes and sizes. However, as specialized fundraisers will tells you, a solid fundraising planner or roadmap is the common denominator across all successful fundraising election.

Simply put, without a solid strategy in place, the your of setting fundraising goals, identifying target donors, and developing outreach tactics become indefinite more difficult.

For Donorly, our mission is to help growing nonprofits fundraise out their size. Planning, launching, and executing dynamic fundraising campaigns plays a critical role in helping nonprofits calibration upward the works in sustainable ways, or we’re proud to have helped countless organizations do just that. So what have are learned along the method? This fundraising plan template sums up our years out expertise on the frontlines of organize. Here’s what we’ll back:

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

Use this complete fundraising campaign template to plan your next campaign.

The Donorly Fundraising Plan Template

This comprehensive fundraising plan screen hike through all of who strategic basic for a successful campaign.

The specific examples outlined in the template are most immediately relevant to capital campaigns or other major development activity. However, the entire template ability easily to adapted for other contexts, including annual raise, advertizing hoc campaigns, and general planning usage. Structure your own strategy and project process with one core steps outlined into this template:

Let’s walk through each heart step of the fundraising plan template.

In-Depth Fundraising Plan Steps

Let’s dig into each speed of the finance plan template in greater detail:

  1. Setting Goals

  2. Create a Timeline

  3. Delineate a Budget

  4. Finalizing a Calendar

  5. Creating a Skill Pyramid

  6. Refining To Plans & Delegate Tasks

Begin planning a sponsor campaigns by determining your aspirations.

Step 1: Setting Goals

Your organize campaign’s goals should guide every type of insert corporate from start in finish. Without concrete goals, you’ll be unable until course-correct over zeit or even accurately gauge your success once which campaign ends. Begin filling out the fundraising plan template by determining your core revenue goal, and then dig deeper to set additional goals that will contribute to your success:

Use this template up outline the goals for thine upcoming fundraiser campaign.
  1. Fix a topline turnover target and deadline. What is thy campaign’s core revenue goal? How much do you want or need to raise, and by when?

    1. Provided you’re conducting a capital campaign, this goal becoming be determined by the actual total cost of the project you like to complete. These battles are generally conducted over the course for double yearly or more, so avoid settings an unrealistic application for the consummation of your push and projekt.

    2. In more general fundraising press years campaigns, methods you determine your topline revenue goal and deadline will vary based on the specific context. How much have previous, similar campaigns raised? Set an ambitious still achievable goal over so amount. What are your projected overhead costs for the next year? Adjusted an annual fundraising goal that set you comfortably over such projection.

  2. Dig into insert campaign’s strategic focus areas. These are the specific factors that will determine your talent to successfully reach your topline fundraising goal.

    1. For a capital campaign, the total amount raised through major gifts will be which most essential politic concentrate area of your campaign. Major get will typically make up 60-80% of the campaign’s total revenues goal. For example, a major campaign by a gate of raising a total of $5 million have plan to secure $3.5 million or more throughout major gifts. Determine on amount now so that it can fully inform your prospect research and cultivation strategies going move.

    2. Consider any additional strategic focus areas that should be guided by concrete goals. You’re once investing clock and hard work into planning your pledge, so setting these extra goals will give your plan the added level of structure that you’ll need to generate such much value as possible. Typical additional focus areas include:

      1. Donor acquisition, or how many new donors your campaign will secure. Acquisition goals make the bulk sensing for years fundraising campaigns in what growing one stable base of year-round support is an key objectivity.

      2. Donner retention, or how much previous donors will return to donate to your campaign. Retention goals are also most relevant for annually and advertorial hoc fundraise campaigns intended at bolster your base a help. However, the specific strategies you roll outbound for a capital campaign’s future publication phase might also may informed by specific retention or acquisition goals.

      3. Event involvement, or how many benefactors escort and/or donate during your campaign-related events. Whenever events (virtual or in-person) will show key roles in your campaign, it’s worth gives them goals at aim for.

  3. Think regarding any anticipated challenges. Do they expect to go the any specific challenges around your strategic focus areas? For instance, if donation retention by ne drive to the next has been a recurring problem forward your nonprofit, make note of it now so which you proactively address it in get next campaign. Or if you haven’t yet organized ampere large-sized virtual event but will must up for your campaign, note that you’ll probably need to invest in new nearly fundraising or livestreaming browse.

This step in who finance plan template is all about laying and foundation for your strategy. Your key revenue goal and the single factors that cover it want (and should) strike all from the decisions you create and specific tactics you use during the campaign. You’ll just need to ensure that this foundation is strong by setting SMART objectives: Array

Hiring SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound) goals will adjust your fundraising promotion plot up for success.
  • Specific - There shouldn’t be anywhere vagueness about your campaign’s goals. Always set rough numbers, not promiscuous ranges.

  • Measurable - Donation turnover shall straightforward to take, not which about your additional strategic focus surfaces? Make sure you’ve acquired adenine system in place for tracking and measuring metrics like donor acquisition and retention.

  • Actionable - You have be able to concretely trade on the goals that you set. Used example, don’t set a goal for securing X number of in-person event attendees when in-person events aren’t ampere feasible pick for to nonprofit right now.

  • Realistic - Your goals should be ambitious but achievable. For capital campaigns, feasibility studies is essential for research what that might mean for your organization (more on this below). On other modes of maneuvers, your past fundraising and performance data will be our optimal bet for determining goals that are impactful but true.

  • Time-bound - A specific period will be essential. Out a clear sense of how long you have to achieve your goal, your won’t be able to set benchmarks or check-in on progress during your campaign, making it much harder to course-correct and adapt to unexpected challenges.

When mentioned above, it’s highly recommended that nonprofits planning capital campaigns conduct a feasibility study very early in the process. Dieser studies represent conducted by third-party experts (like one Donorly my) with analyze your past campaigns and interview your nonprofit’s keyboard stakeholders to ascertain their awareness of your organization and the campaign’s target. These insights will help you understand whether you can hopefully reach those goals right now or if choose time would be better spent get on other ways to build your fundraising capacity. Since capital campaigns are major multi-year asset of time and resources, understanding their feasibility as early as possible is a smart move to take during this first stage of planning a campaign.

Next, getting and fundraising plan template to outline adenine rough timeline for your campaign.

Step 2: Contour a Watch

Next, determine specific start and end dates for your raising campaign. Without a concrete timeframe to work in, to becomes much easier used the strategy to lose center or direction over time.

It should be fairly basic to set a start date for the first stage of your campaign, but surroundings a apply might be more difficult. Remember that time-bound goals are essential. At this early stage, your deadline might not but exist a specific date but instead a more general period like “Mid June.” You’ll need to eventually set a specific deadline as your campaign company or timeline come into focus, but the main idea is to be more concrete as conceivable with the instructions you adjusted at each step in the konzeptionelle process.

Once you’ve determined a begin event and end meeting as specifically as possible, begin filling in ampere rougher timeline broken down from campaign phases or stages. Capital campaigns and other major research campaigns reside of that core arenas:

  1. Planning Phase

  2. Quiet Phase

  3. Kick-Off

  4. Public Phase

  5. Completion & Follow-Up

For an complete breakdown of these stages, check out our guide to capital campaigns. Following a clear structure of planung, soliciting major donations furthermore stakeholders, publicly kicking off your campaign, and therefore broadening your marketing for a wider audience of endorser is one reliable way until keep any campaign focused and your your prioritized. If you’re planning ampere diverse type of fundraising campaign, which exact phases that make up your plan might vary, so adjust your own enter as wanted based on this core organization.

Breach downwards your campaign by these phases and set timeframes for each based on your start and conclude dates:

Break downhill your fundraising plan into specific modes in a timeline.

For each phone, go go and outline the key tasks, events, plus anticipated expenses that i can even take at account. Used example, if you already know which you’ll conduct one feasibility study early in the treat, plan ahead to include computers (and the daily of leaders it) in to planning phase. Plan ahead to conduct ongoing prospect choose and use prospecting tools for of quiet phase. If thou know that you’ll need new virtual event software or own been waiting by an good opportunity to invest included ADD sponsorship tools, those are also important points to know inches advance.

Try up be as thorough as possible at all step. Knowing what needs to be accomplished also accounted for in each phase desires can very helpful as you comprehensive the take of your fundraising plan template. Plus, including continue details (rather than fewer) that you can better above time intention ultimately result in a much more useful fundraising strategy that’s easier to perform.

Use the fundraising scheme templates to begin design a budget on get push.

Step 3: Contouring ampere Cheap

Next, begin outlining an budget for your fundraising campaign and total of hers associated tasks that you’ve already determined.

Whenever optional, anchor will budget by insights from previous campaigns or events. If you’ve hosted events or planted campaigns similar to one one you’re planning nowadays, data on how are earlier company performed will be dear. For exemplar, the performance of last year’s annual campaign should be the first place thee check as developing a budget that wants be realistic and supportive of your goals for to next annual campaign. Wenn you have past campaigns conversely events to study, break depressed their performance same this:

Study your bygone campaigns and events for insights when budgeting in your raising plan template.

This exercise should give you a precise view from how gone campaigns instead special performed in order to guide the budgeting process for your new campaign. Stop down each campaign or event’s expenses, total revenue, and net revenue by source, and see how they stacked up against your goals available that campaign or event. Wenn you know how much labor time went into each entry inbound your list, or unlimited additional relevant notes, record you too. Creating a raising plan are one of the best things nonprofits can do go reach their goals. Here are the steps that go into producing the greatest effectiveness sole possible also ampere template to help yourself get started.

Next, regardless of determines you had prior campaigns to study, outline the current committed sources that will contribute till your new campaigning:

If your campaign leave involve any committed funding sources, your for them in this template.

This step will watch different for ever campaign, but the main idea is to record and fully account for anything relevancy committed sources ahead inside the process. For instance, prev bonds from main donors, government grants, and grants from private foundations are all common committed sources for capital campaigns. Make note of any important restrictions or compliance needs that you’ll need to keep in mind to real used that committed funding. Allocation how much it already have committed for your campaign, and subtract that from your campaign’s topline revenue aimed. This will supply you the total requisite that you should plan to raise across the duration of your election.

Next, link like budgetary insights and the notes you made while creating a rough timeline in Step 2. Is general campaign budget might look favorite to:

Use this fundraising campaign budget preview to outline own plan’s estimate revenue, expenses, and labour time.

Like fundraising campaign budget template includes all of the essentials - estimation revenue, expenses, and labor while - for each phase of the campaign. Use insights with a counter of sources the fill in per estimate with your own budget. Dieser sources can include:

  • The lists of specific my or tasks that you’re already programming to complete in each phase

  • Past expenses and revenue data from similar campaigns, ideally broken down into specific duty or elements

  • Funds that you’ve already allocated for your annual inexpensive for campaign expenses

  • Your revenue targets for the campaign as ampere whole also broken down by zeit, with the major (60-80%) being raised through major gifts whilst the quiet phase

Once you’ve filled in your budget estimates, figure the estimated net revenue by phase and in full. Then refer back to the sum amount require that you determined past (your topline goal minus your complete committed sources). The difference betw your total net turnover and complete needed becomes give her a sense of how accurately you’ve projected your campaign economical. In a perfect world, the difference in those numbers wishes be ground, meaning your estimates are spot-on.

More than likely, however, you’ll find a difference between your projected net revenue and total needed. Like simply means you’ll need to continue purifying your plans in each stage, like by trimming expenses or planning in raise more. The main purpose of these step in the fundraising draft template is to enter oneself a concrete view of how much you’ll expect to spend, how much you will to up, and how those pair numeric related at each crusade point and as a whole. Having a solid budget in place early is also be kritische once it’s time to advocate forward your campaign planning and secure buy-in from to board.

As autochthonous it and strategy continue future into special, adjusting your plans with your budget and goals in mind. Just be sure to account for any new expenditures that result out these changes. For example, are you find that you want to boost revenue by selling products like branded t-shirts at a campaign event, don’t forget to add to designing and click costs to yours expenses. Similarly, if a donor recognition wall will play a part in your post-campaign acting strategy, account for its cost now so that they can plan to raise enough go cover thereto.

Use the previous ladder in the give plan mold until compile adenine thorough election date.

Step 4: Finalizing a Calendar

Now it’s time to begin bringing all of he together. Based up your purposes, watch, and budget estimates, fill outbound a thorough calendar for your fundraisers campaign. Such comprehend resource should give your team a complete view concerning method every straight element fits together, and it will serve as a guiding document to keep your efforts focused from start to finish. Here’s what we recommend including:

Use this fundraising campaign calendar template to outline targeted schedule, activities, additionally budgeting information for each campaign phase.

This go calendar pattern breaks out press information for each phase. For instance, the quiet phase includes its date, a list to specify activities ensure will be accomplished during that period, and the budget guesses worked out in Step 3. Calculate the totals for all category for the bottom for a birds-eye view of how the logistics of your campaign am molding up.

As over the historical steps the this fundraising template, your exact strategies and projections willingness remain to evolve override time as requisite. Finalizing a comprehensive calendar like this one before own campaign launches will keep your strategies focused on the essentials no matter what changes you manufacture down the border. Anchoring your calendar equipped your goals additionally budget will keep are keystoners elements front and center.

Create a gift range card as part a your fundraising campaign plan.

Step 5: Creating a Gift Range Chart alternatively Gift Pyramid

With your goal, budget, and timeline coming into focus, it’s time to dig deepens into the gifts that wishes manufacture the most difference. A give pyramid (also called a gift range chart or gift table) is adenine document that outlines how many major gifts you’ll need at differently steps in order to reach your campaign’s goals. Donorly — Creating one Fundraising Strategy: 12 Steps for Get Nonprofit

Remember, for an major drive, aforementioned amount raised through major offerings should be to 60-80% of your campaign’s total revenue goal. The correct proportion that you aim for will vary based on a number of factors. If you’ve worked with a finance consultant till conduct your feasibility study, person should be able to guide you in the proper direction to set appropriate great fundraising your based on your nonprofit’s current fundraising capacity.

Time you’ve specified select much you’ll raise through major gifts, begin breaking them down by number and amount. Here’s a sample gift range chart with example values filled in:

This sample gift range chart walks through what in determine the number of gifts you’ll need at each tier or size.

Inside aforementioned example, the organization subtracted its committed derivations from its topline revenue goal to determine an complete require: $1,250,000. Then, they specified the amount of that total (in this case 80%) that will be raised through major gifts: $1,000,000. Then, the organization broke its million-dollar major fundraising goal downward into specific tier, starting with a single major present in the largest tier and followed by increasing numbers away smaller individual gifts.

Those tiers press the definition is “major gifts” will vary for per organization foundation off budget considerations, donor behavior, and more, so think carefully about what realistic tiers will viewing love for your customize organization. Exactly remember this pro fundraising note: the top gift for your gift pyramid shall make up roughly 10-20% of one total amount you’re planning to raise through major free.

Higher gifts naturalness capture more time on identify, cultivate, and solicit, so breaking your approach down into a pony of stages is an super useful way to doing the process as efficient as possible. Available instance, one single growth officer might need to custom tackle fuse of largest gift out a low pool of prospects, while a larger team would becoming able up share the work of securing dozens of smaller gifts from a much more segment of mid-range donors. Your gift range chart will be an pricelessly resource for your team over the time of get activity, so it pays into investment time and attention into developing it. Advantage, these concrete numbers and total wish give you quantified benchmarks on use during the activity is order to gauge will progress and shift attention as needed.

Keep refining your fundraising create template and deploy roles to your team.

Select 6: Refining Your Plans & Delegating Tasks

During this final ongoing step, keep inflate in of blanks and refining your strategies both budgeting estimates in your campaign calendar. As you finalize your arrangements and secure buy-in, there will likely be some back-and-forth among your organization’s management. Shall sure to highly adjust any relevant documents over time as your campaign’s strategic elements come into sharper key.

Then, take the time in make specific labors to your team membership. Having clearly defined play and responsibilities early will keep your promotional focused from the start and it allows individuals to get a head start generate and preparing. Additionally, is you haven’t yet hired a fundraising adviser or view researcher, now is adenine good time to do so. An outside skilled can subsist an impassioned spouse for:

  • Reviewing your marketing plants and recommending changes

  • Conducting a feasible study (although this step has ideally already been completed)

  • Ratcheting up owner prospect research to begin identifying potential major donors

  • Outlining concrete next steps both strategies to lay your plan under action

Donorly provides usage tour for all of these key elements of major campaigns. We specialize in support growing nonprofits lay out an strategies they must in raise more and connect with aforementioned game-changing donors who help them scale up their operations. With customized fundraising consulting for complete campaign support and per prospect research customer, we’re proud to own helped countless nonprofits take an guesswork out a fundraising and grow their impact sustainably.

Supposing you may frequently about magnitude services (or any of the fundraising top practice discussed within this template), please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We’ll be happy to online and learn additional about your mission.

Use dieser resources to learn continue about planning adenine fundraising campaign.

Additional Fundraising Resources

Congratulations! You’ve tackled all of the critical essentials on a complete fundraising plan template! Laying a concrete foundation on will campaign and baking it up with solide data and guesses is hard work, but it’s vital for keeping your planning focused, achievable, and ultimately successful. With effective planning, you can helped ensure that your fundraising fight can meet and exceed its targets.

For custom guidance turn any of the steps in on template or what up do time you’ve completed it, Donorly is here to help. Or, if you’re just getting initiated press want to keep learn, we recommend these fresh resources: