How to create a fundraising strategy

Whether you’re launching a start up charity or training for a new role, at some point in your charity career, you’ll want to know how to create a fundraising strategy. Here are some basic guidelines of how to create a fundraising strategy that will improve outcomes for the charity.

Whether you’re launching a start up charity or training for a new role, at some point in your charity career, you’ll want to know how to create a fundraising strategy.

What is a fundraising strategy?

A fundraising strategy defines targets and details how the charity will generate funds with specific objectives in mind.

A case for support clearly outlines what the charity hopes to achieve from donor funding.

The case for support can refer to a specific project or a wider organisational document. It should always be created as a first step to update supporters and help the fundraising team stay on track.

The document should be clear, concise and available to anyone who expresses interest in supporting the charity.

#2 Define the end goal

Drawing on the charity’s vision and mission, the fundraising strategy should define the end goal of any requested action. Whether this is the outcome of a specific appeal or a broader organisational objective, set short and long-term milestones so supporters can clearly see how every dollar raised contributes to the bigger picture.

#3 Explore new opportunities

While you might have a proven method for successful fundraising, an integral part of any fundraising strategy is to continually explore new ways to do things. Always remain open to trialling new systems and adopting processes that support innovation and improve efficiencies across the team.

#4 Define what makes you unique

When deciding how to create a fundraising strategy, define what makes the appeal unique. Donors have a lot of choice, and the fundraising strategy should clearly explain why they should choose you instead of any other charity vying for their donated dollar.

#4 Define what makes you unique

When deciding how to create a fundraising strategy, define what makes the appeal unique. Donors have a lot of choice, and the fundraising strategy should clearly explain why they should choose you instead of any other charity vying for their donated dollar.

#5 Analysis

When looking at how to create a fundraising strategy, donor analysis will form the backbone of the fundraising strategy. By analysing previous giving behaviour, you can decide who to ask for money, when you should ask, how much to ask for and how to ask.

#6 Identify team responsibilities

Every member of the team is responsible for their part in bringing a fundraising strategy to life. Identify each team members goals and objectives, and the steps required to achieve them.

These indicators will help the board and key stakeholders observe how the organisation is tracking towards broader goals as well as setting the basis for individual performance.

#7 Identify opportunities for each supporter type

Segmenting a database will help you identify the different supporter types and adapt how you engage with them. Corporate donors, major donors and volunteers, for example, will all have different reasons for supporting the charity or appeal and these must be addressed.

Identify ways the different groups can help and create a tailored fundraising strategy for each.

#8 Create a budget

One of the most significant elements of a fundraising strategy is the budget. Not only are financial targets important, but also outgoings.

If you’re struggling to create a positive budget, look for ways to cut costs without impacting performance. Perhaps consider sending an email appeal rather than direct mail or moving physical events online. These small changes can reduce costs yet can yield just as high rewards when targeting donors accurately.

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