How To Structure Your Non-Profit Funding Program?
Measuring your success in relation to your objectives becomes simple with a potent nonprofit fund development plan. Additionally, you have effective time management and deadline adherence.
Thus, your fund development program is guided by a nonprofit fund development plan. Thus, meticulous planning prepares the path for faultless execution, which in turn leads to the achievement of the desired results.
Furthermore, a new organization that is just starting out with its fundraising may be overly confused due to the abundance of fundraising advice, sources, techniques, and tools. The following seven easy steps will help you get started on creating a successful fundraising strategy for your non-profit organization.
Consider Past Finances & Financial Contributors
You must examine your past financial situation before moving on to develop a new fundraising strategy. This will enable you to draw important conclusions from the data, including how your firm has changed over the past year and its future direction.
Pay attention to your fundraising sources so that you may include them in your future plan. A few examples include:
- The bulk of donors fell into the small- and mid-level individual donor category, with donations varying from a few bucks to several thousand. If your business has a variety of small- and mid-level donors, you can decide to focus on increasing repeat or recurring donations.
- Major donors: Each nonprofit has its own definition of what constitutes a major gift. Smaller nonprofits may define a substantial contribution as a few thousand dollars, whereas larger organizations define major gifts as being in the six-figure range. Regardless of the criterion, the top 12% of donors account for an average of 88% of all individual donations.
- Nonprofit grants: If your business has previously relied on grant financing, you are aware of how effective this form of funding can be in launching a new project or effort. As fresh grant funding has been made accessible in response to COVID-19, it could be a good idea to look into options given by both private sanction organizations and governmental organizations.
- Corporate giving: For many nonprofit groups, businesses and corporations are the main sources of fundraising funds. A significant portion of these profits come from matching gift plans, where employers match the kind donations made by their employees to deserving charitable groups.
You’ll be able to better tailor your fundraising plan to your personal history, contributor network, and recent trends as you accomplish these financial reflections.
During this time, make a note of any potential areas for improvement. Can you reduce any of your expenses? Do you need to commit additional money to a certain fundraising effort that was successful the previous year? Do you need to restructure your present team or acquire a new employee?
Consider setting both strategic and financial goals for your fundraising plan.
Strategic objectives are non-financial targets connected to your development plan. These can entail making a database purchase, launching a newsletter, boosting board involvement in fundraising, or reducing reliance on foundation financing.
Traditional fundraising objectives tend to be financial in nature. What funds do you aim to raise, and how much?
Your objectives must be consistent with your cause. Some questions you should seriously think about are?
- What is the entire quantity of money you need to raise?
- What costs are involved?
- What is the required size of the workforce?
- What does the schedule for each team and activity look like?
- What channels should I take into account?
- Define specifics like these to establish a clear objective and a course of action.
Make A Timeline Of Your Funding Program
Create a calendar and list all of your planned activities. Some activities are one-time only, while others are ongoing. Make sure you arrange everything keeping a deadline in mind.
Monthly deadlines can be used to establish your timeline. Your annual goals are defined by the sum of your monthly timetables.
Make sure your deadlines are acceptable and won’t interfere with your volunteers’ personal lives before you do anything else.
Focus On Expanding Your Donor Network
Whatever the objectives you set, you probably have a few that revolve on enlarging your base of donors and supporters.
Go back to the first part where we talked about reflecting on your former financial situation; pay close attention to where the majority of your new income comes from and use this information to inform your plans for the future.
Put more emphasis on your efforts here, for instance, if you raised the majority of your cash from individual donors and it didn’t cost too much to execute.
You can decide to concentrate on those who have previously shown interest in your cause but have not yet made their first donation, or you may prefer to start from scratch and present yourself to whole new potential donors.
In either case, the following are some top techniques for finding new donors:
- Planning your social outreach: Using mass communication strategies, such as email campaigns and social media advertising, is a wonderful method to attract new donors. Through social media, you can invite your current funders to engage with and share your thoughts with their friends and family, introducing new audiences to your purpose. The alternative is to use email or direct messages to communicate in a more private manner.
- Sharing your vision: Once your established vision has been developed, use it to draw in additional donors who share your passion for achieving that goal. Share your vision with your network using a variety of marketing strategies to discover donors who share your philosophy.
- Putting a focus on donor involvement: Donors desire to be informed about the use of their contributions. Providing specifics can assist you to attract new supporters who want to support your cause. For instance, requesting donations to pay for one child’s textbooks is typically more successful than requesting support to fund the construction of a school. This highlights that specific donor and the instant impact they can have
You’ll need to balance cultivating ties with recurring donors with recruiting new backers as you seek out prospective future donors and make connections with people who share your vision.
Calculate the Price of Your Fundraising Program
Include expenses for postage, building your website, organizing special events, hiring employees specifically for fundraising, and hiring staff to manage the volunteers who will assist you in generating money.
Be reasonable in your expense estimates, but make plans to employ cost-effective techniques to prevent expenditures from devouring your entire fundraising haul. What portion of your
budget ought to be devoted to fundraising? Watchdog organizations like Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau suggest payments between a low of 15% and 35%.
There is no exact number, but when you submit your yearly 990 tax form, the IRS will review your income and costs. They will anticipate that a sizable part of your spending will go toward your programs rather than executive pay or perks.
In other words, you should spend the majority of your budget on the purposes for which you were established.
Choose Your Method Of Evaluating Your Progress
Success in fundraising is typically determined by the amount of money raised. However, it’s important to consider additional elements. The number of contributors who increase their support or donate more than once per year, the number of new donors obtained, the percentage of first-time donors who give again and continue to give regularly (the conversion rate), and other metrics should all be measured.
You can assess the results of your donor relations as well. You may track how frequently you get in touch with contributors without requesting a donation, how often donors contact you directly, and how frequently donors recommend your organization to others.
Assign Responsibilities To Ensure Smooth Workflow
What obligations does the staff have? What should the members of your board do? How do they fit into your plan to develop your fund?
More team members mean more individuals to develop relationships with, which eventually means more money. Find out who is involved with your volunteers, board, sponsors, funders, etc.
Who, for instance, would inform you of the fundraising sites that received the greatest donations, who would encourage them, etc.
By doing this, you can make sure that every aspect of your strategy is carried out without taxing any of your team members.
To Put It All Together
You are now prepared to put all of the information you have gathered into one document, your fundraising plan. Once your group masters generating funds for a full year of operations, you should move on to multi-year plans, loftier objectives, more complex strategies, and cutting-edge methods. Also, it is better to get the assistance of an award/grant management system like SmarterSelect to manage and streamline your whole process more efficiently. This tool can assist you in multiple tasks including but not limited to getting deeper insight into applicants and automating
complex grant application and evaluation tasks and enabling you to specify exactly the information your committees need to proceed further in your planning.
But keep in mind that your fundraising strategy might change at any time, so it’s wise to be adaptable as you go. No plan is set in stone if the last two years have taught us anything thus far.
Mr. Robert Davis is the Founder and President of SmarterSelect, a Dallas, TX based SaaS company that provides online application management services to scholarship, grant, and award providers such as foundations, universities, corporations, and associations. Prior to that he has served as President and CEO of network management firms Tavve Software and Oculan. He has served as a VP and General Manager at IBM/Tivoli Systems. Mr. Davis held several executive roles and was one of the first employees with The Tigon Corporation, a $250M telecom startup acquired by Lucent/Avaya. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a MBA from Southern Methodist University.