Summary Blueprint For A Powerfuld Fundraising Plan

By kevinkobwebb on January 22, 2011 In Fundraising

There are a number of key ingredients that exist in every successful organization’s fund raising work. We have gathered plan elements from our 25 years in nonprofit consulting, as well as information and ideas from some of our client organizations. We’ve distilled them into this summary. A full blueprint and support from our team are all available on the website: We hope it helps you.
Organizations that have developed greater financial stability repeatedly report that these “simple” steps are often difficult to develop because they require daily practice and constant maintenance if they are to be effective. They work as well for small organizations as they do for large ones, and can be utilized in all types of settings.
There are no “quick fixes”, but rather a series of principles that can serve to build incredible strength based upon positive human relationships. Such require no large investments in high-tech equipment. They do require a very large investment of time in planning, evaluation–and in the art of human interaction.
The return you will get on this important investment will be a stronger and more financially secure organization.
I. The Importance of Values and Attitudes
The greatest fund raisers have a strong belief in the organizations they work for, the programs and services, and the staff and volunteers who are colleagues. The excitement about the programs and services literally “spills over” as they talk.
Their positive attitude is contagious, and others want to be with them and the program. They want to support something that works.
Fund raising is most dynamic when it develops this way. It can work through techniques, but when it is driven by “heart” and “spirit,” things are easier to accomplish and people flourish.
What you need are staff, board members and volunteers who are passionate about the programs, committed and invested. That network supports highly effective fund raising.

II. Build a Strong Foundation
The best nonprofits have programs that almost sell themselves. They have the following key ingredients that make for a strong foundation:
A. Programs are based on identified community needs, and represent priorities determined by a broad, representative base of the community and its leadership
B. Programs are highly effective. They represent excellent models for the field.
C. Staff are well qualified and respected. Staff turnover is low. Staff are paid a competitive wage, and are provided the training and development tools they need to be successful.
D. Volunteers are recruited carefully, through a structured program that receives staff guidance and support. Volunteers are involved in planning and program development, are respected and treated well.
E. The board places emphasis on building organizational excellence in all areas, from programs and staff to systems, to volunteers. The board takes its own responsibilities seriously, and engages in a careful process of recruitment, orientation, committee development and board development.
F. Organizational structures and systems are effective, constantly upgraded to meet changing needs. Board and staff are involved in planning and evaluation to ensure that each key area of the organization is functioning as it should.
G. The organization’s board and staff leaders place an emphasis on careful stewardship of financial resources, and accountability to funders, donors, constituents and the community.

Your fund raising must be solidly based upon your current mission–and guided by a plan. Healthy fund raising springs from the mission of a healthy, well-managed organization. Although it may seem repetitive, it is important to affirm this very basic point.
Too many organizations believe that a “new” fund-raising activity or technique can generate an influx of funds that will rejuvenate a troubled organization. This is seldom true. Successful fund raising requires a tremendous amount of management skill and organizational commitment which is usually only available when an organization is healthy and well managed.
Ask key staff and volunteers to work with you on this plan, either in a focus group setting, or through a combination of meetings and review of written materials. Nobody likes for someone else to criticize their work, however we all appreciate the opportunity to be involved in shaping our work. Key staff, board members and volunteers work to shape a plan ensures that ideas are tested investment is high. Once the group has shaped the plan, it is ready for implementation.

III. Develop the Plan’s Key Sections
The fund raising plan should include the following sections. This provides a summary. There is a more detailed plan available on the website (
1.Mission, Vision and Philosophy – Are they in alignment?
2. Organization and Program Case Statements – Do you have programmatic case statements and an overarching agency case statement?
3.Internal Donor Data & Systems Analysis – What do you know about your donors? How do you track things? Analyze the donor data base, including new donors, lapsed donors and donor retention. Review mailings and other materials used with donors. Look at whether special events bring new donors who remain with agency, and how. Analyze board giving and fund raising. Determine where you can build, and areas that should receive more attention. That will provide the primary focus for fund raising.
4.Market Analysis – Analyze everything that is going on in the community, especially other agencies involved in appeals and campaigns.
5. Institutional Giving (Government Contracts, Foundations & Corporations) – Analyze the level of support from government, foundations and corporations, to include multi-year funding, and change in the number and size of grant and contracts. Develop priorities for future work in this area.
6. Earned Income (Fees, Sales) – Does the agency have funding from earned income, such as fees assessed, sales of materials and other items. Outline any strategies that fit here.
7. Roles and Responsibilities (Staff and Volunteers) – The ED/CEO and senior staff often carry the bulk of the fund raising work, unless there are board leaders that are already seasoned fund raisers. Develop a detailed map of “who will do what” and track progress. If board leaders need support, this can be provided through a board session with a consultant and/or community leadership board members or smaller meetings. Often, other strong board leaders are extremely effective in get board members involved.
8.Financial Goals and Giving Targets – These should be set following careful analysis as outlined above, and in discussions with board, staff and leadership volunteers. The board should make gifts first.
9. Timeline – Identify an overall timeline for each project, and specific timelines within each area.
10. Evaluation and Accountability – Track progress on each area of fund raising based on the goals, strategies and timetable. If areas are slipping, work more closely with the people responsible.

Anne Hays Egan is an organizational development consultant to nonprofits. For more information on nonprofit fundraising and nonprofit resources visit