Sample Fundraising Plan

Mary Gormandy White
Fundraising Planner

Are you looking for a sample fundraising plan? If you're in search of an example of a plan that you can use to guide your efforts to write a formal plan for your organization, you're already ahead of the game when in comes to raising money. That's because not everyone who is responsible for managing and running charitable organizations recognizes the importance of creating and using a fundraising plan.

Understanding the Importance of Fundraising Plans

Fundraising plans serve the same purpose for nonprofit organizations that business plans fulfill for public and private for-profit companies. If your charitable organization isn't able to function effectively without engaging in successful efforts to raise money, then it's essential to create and use a formal plan document that can be used to plan and guide your fundraising activities.

A new plan should be created at the beginning of each fiscal year and should be used to guide efforts to raise money throughout the year. The plan should be drafted with input from each member of the organization's Board of Directors along with the Executive Director and other key employees. It should be created with an eye toward generating revenue sufficient to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals, in terms of covering operating expenses and obtaining sufficient funds to fulfill the mission, thereby meeting the needs of consumers served.

The current plan should be reviewed regularly and revised as needed to ensure that the organization stays on track in terms of continuing to make forward progress toward accomplishing its goals. If a fundraiser is not successful, the plan should be revised to include a means of making up for the missed goal, whether that means adding in additional strategies or revising services offered via a particular program for which expected funding levels were not reached.

What to Include in a Fundraising Plan

  • Executive Summary - This section of a fundraising plan should contain a brief synopsis of the detailed information included in the plan, starting out with an overview of the organization and its work, funding needs, goals for raising money, and strategies to reach the goals.
  • Plan Overview - The beginning of fundraising plan should begin by stating purpose of the document, clarify the mission and work of the organization, the assumptions on which the plan was based, and other details that can impact plan implementation. It should also include the results of the organization's most recent SWOT analysis, which is a listing of relevant internal strengths and weaknesses along with recognition of external opportunities and threats.
  • Funding Details - The funding component of an effective fundraising plan includes information about where the organization has obtained funds in the past along with current funding needs. The goals for fundraising should be specified, along with strategies for raising the money necessary to continue or launch needed projects and programs.
  • Implementation - This component should specify the process by which the plan will be implemented.
  • Development Calendar - This section contains a Gantt chart, or other project management planning tool, with a schedule for when the various fundraising activities in the plan will occur.
  • Plan Management - This component of the plan should include details about the identification of funding sources, assignments of responsibilities, reporting structure, and other details relevant to managing progress toward accomplishment of your fundraising goals and objectives.
  • Conclusion - The conclusion of the fundraising plan should contain a narrative overview of what has been decided in the plan and what accomplishing the stated goals will mean for the organization.

Sample Fundraising Plan Examples

There isn't a single "right" way to draft a fundraising plan. Each document should reflect the unique nature of the organization it represents. Looking at examples of documents that have been used by other entities can be an excellent way to get started creating your own plan.

Visit the following websites for full sample fundraising plan examples that you can use to guide your efforts.

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Sample Fundraising Plan