As national reports on funding trends indicate year after year, foundation support (i.e., grants) accounts for only a small percentage of the overall funding picture in the nonprofit world. It is therefore essential for nonprofit organizations to investigate and incorporate a variety of potential revenue sources. This process is known as fundraising planning.
Fundraising planning involves a number of important steps:
- Taking stock of your organization's strengths and assets puts you in a position to represent your organization to funders in the best possible way. What does your organization do well? What skills and expertise make your group so important in your community? What do you still need to improve upon?
- Creating a case statement, or case for support, involves detailing the argument for why your organization deserves support, usually by outlining the organization's programs, current needs, and plans.
- Setting realistic fundraising goals is the next step of fundraising planning. Before you can approach prospective funders for support, you need to know how much money you need.
- Diversifying your funding mix means building a base of support from individuals, the government, foundations, and business. These four groups comprise much of the funding landscape.
- Preparing a fundraising calendar or timetable to chart your fundraising efforts, and to help you think through the details of who, what, when, where and how.
To learn more about fundraising planning, you can take our free class, Introduction to Fundraising Planning, either in-person or via webinar. We also offer a full-day, fee-based course, called Developing a Fundraising Plan, which goes into greater depth on the subject.
See also our related Knowledge Base articles on the Funding Research Process»
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