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3 Steps to a More Effective Nonprofit Fundraising Plan

Having a fundraising plan in place will help keep you and your team organized, establish clearly-defined goals, and improve your chances for a more prosperous year ahead.  

You can create a more effective fundraising plan by following 3 simple steps!

1.) Analyze Last Year’s Efforts


It’s important to recognize what fundraising efforts worked last year and understand why they worked.  This way you can make the year ahead even more successful! Did you set a goal last year? Did you reach it? What is your goal for this year? Did you have a successful direct mail campaign? Was there a lot of waste?  

It’s also critical to clarify which fundraising efforts didn’t work, so you can assess whether those efforts are worth trying to improve for next time, or if they should be removed from your future strategy altogether.  


Set up a meeting with your planning committee and have a retrospective discussion about the past year. Remember to focus on both the positives and the things that should be improved upon. Your colleagues deserve to feel good about their previous efforts, but honesty should also be encouraged in order to help further your mission in the year ahead.  

When it comes to setting future fundraising goals, always factor in your bottom line, but also aim to increase your goal from last year if you did reach it!  

2.) Segment Your Donors


Not all donors are alike!  Yes, they all have supported your cause, but some donors may prefer interacting and making donations online, while others may still prefer receiving your printed annual report every year and sending a check.  

The better you understand your donors and accommodate to them accordingly, the stronger your relationships with them will be. 


Look at past interactions your donors have had with your organization. Did they come via an online fundraising campaign? Are they long-time volunteers that also like to donate to your organization on a monthly basis? What about new donors?  

Use past behaviors to segmenting your supporters into categories and then decide which segments will receive what messages.  

3.) Create a Detailed Timeline


The key to being ahead of the game is having a good timeline. The last thing you want is to feel rushed when there are only two weeks left before a big event or push!


If you’re planning a fundraising event, for instance, it’s good to make a list of everything that needs to get done and start assigning them within your calendar.

For example, if it’s a large event, you might want to start planning 3-4 months before the actual event date. Begin slotting in items each week leading up to the event and delegating any tasks that can be done by fellow committee members or volunteers.

For more detailed instructions on how to create your nonprofit fundraising plan, download the free guide below!