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Introduction to Fundraising Planning Recording

Introduction to Fundraising Planning Recording


Welcome, my name is Caroline Herbert,
instructional design manager. I want to thank you for tuning in to this
recording of the Foundation Center’s basic introduction to fundraising planning. Today we’ll be talking about the basic
steps for developing a fundraising plan. Although we won’t be able to cover every
aspect of your fundraising strategy today, we hope this class will get you
started in the right direction and lead to more in-depth conversations with the
staff and board of your organization about your fundraising needs and
strategies. So what exactly is a fundraising plan? A fundraising plan is a living document
which lays out specific fundraising tasks and strategies, including who
will be responsible for completing them and the time frame of when they need to
be accomplished. Ultimately, a successful fundraising plan
can help an organization be proactive, rather than reactive, in your fundraising.
Many times we as nonprofits have fundraising crises- and we’ve all been
there- when we’re struggling to meet our programmatic and fundraising goals. A fundraising plan is a road map that
will help you get from where you are to where you want to be. So why is it important? Planning is a critical activity for your
organization’s success. Planning focuses your organization by setting fundraising
priorities and helps give your staff, board and volunteers an understanding
of the big picture of the organization’s funding needs and how you plan to meet
those needs. It is the whole staff’s responsibility to understand the plan
and their role in the process. Fundraising is definitely a team
sport! Board involvement is critical to
fundraising success. Having an agreed-upon plan strengthens board
commitment and involvement in reaching your fundraising goals. And, finally, a
diversified fundraising plan prevents organizations from becoming over-
dependent on one source. Most fundraising plans fall into a
fiscal year or calendar year and take months to put together. This is not
something one person sits down and writes in an hour. Although the development director or
fundraiser may draft the plan, it is critical that your board and senior
staff have ownership in your fundraising plan. Keep in mind that your plan should
be formulated and approved several months prior to the beginning of your fiscal or
calendar year. So how does an organization start a fundraising plan? We’ve laid out six steps for the
fundraising planning process. They are: identify your assets; develop a case
statement; set your goals; create an action plan; implement your plan;
and evaluate your plan. We’re going to be talking about each one of these steps in
more detail. But before we start I want to take a
moment to show you two important pie charts. The first one breaks down all the
types of nonprofit revenue. When we think about the nonprofit sector
as a whole and look at how nonprofits are supported, fees for services/earned
income is the largest category of revenue. An example is colleges charging tuition. Institutional grantmakers like
foundations fit into the private contributions category– the purple part of the pie– which includes foundations as well as corporations and individual donors. This next chart takes the purple part of
the previous pie chart and breaks it down further, so this is just the private
contributions by source for nonprofits in the U.S. You can see that, despite what
most people may assume, foundations and corporations together account for only a
modest proportion of charitable giving. This is a common myth. The vast majority
of private giving comes from individuals, people like you and me. So why is this pie chart important to fundraising planning? My hope is that it will help you realize
that the bulk of your support is not going to come from foundations. In order
to reduce your dependency on any one funding source, you need to diversify your
funding streams. I’ll be talking about that in more detail. But let’s get back to the six steps and
start with Number one: Identify your assets. Here you’re going to
want to ask yourself, what are my current organizational strengths? What makes my
organization appealing to potential funders? Here are some examples: compelling mission, large public base of support, name recognition, well-connected staff and
board, great facility, high-traffic web site. A good way to access your strengths and
weaknesses is by conducting a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, threats. Conducting a SWOT analysis will not only help you identify
your strengths or what you do well, but also help you identify where you
might need additional funding or where your weaknesses or threats are, which can
turn into funding opportunities. Knowing your strengths will also help
you with your case statement. Your case statement is a written document
outlining the general argument for why your organization deserves support.
Typical case statements for small to medium-sized nonprofits are five to ten
pages long. A case statement lays out the most basic facts about an organization and
should include: mission and values; programs and services; accomplishments; plans for the future; and
budget needs. Preparing your organization’s case statement is also an
opportunity to collect data that demonstrates your competencies and the
effectiveness of your work. Ultimately you can use your case statement as a core
communication tool. It gets everyone on the same page and can be used in writing
proposals, speeches, press releases, etc. Number three: Set your goals. Who are your current funding partners? You should begin by taking a look at your current funding
situation and make sure you have a clear understanding of where your support is
coming from. If you’re a new organization your list
of current funders might only be your friends, family, and board members, and
that’s okay–every organization starts somewhere. Who are your largest funders? What sources generate the largest revenue? For some organizations this might be government
support. For others, as we saw from the pie chart in the beginning of class, it
may be individuals. Where could you strengthen your funding
base? What funders may be able to increase
their level of support? Your current funders have the greatest potential for growth
because they already know about your work and support your organization, so
it’s important to think about how you can not only maintain their current
level of support but grow and steward these relationships to pave the way for
increased funding. Now that you know where you are, you can
determine where you need to go and how to get there. Earlier I mentioned the
importance of a diversified funding base. This means not putting all your eggs in
one basket. Instead, you want to put your eggs in many different baskets. Think about this
river as your organization with all these little streams feeding into the river.
Implementing different fundraising strategies lessens the possibility of
the river drying out if the flow from one income source begins to slow down or
is suddenly eliminated. So, for example, if your organization only receives government
support and the government support ends, what will happen to your organization? Just as we saw from the pie chart at the
beginning of class, foundations are only one current or potential revenue stream.
Here’s just a sample of what your organization’s streams may be: foundation
grants, government funding, or individual donors. Each organization is different, so your
revenue streams will be different, and we could also add things like earned income
and corporations. So the key takeaway here is that a strong river means a strong
organization. The more diverse your funding sources, the more stable your
organization will be. So as you continue to think about how diverse your organization’s
funding streams are, you’ll want to determine which funders could provide
you with the most long-term security. What sources are most reliable? Consider
how likely they’ll be to renew or increase their support over time. Which additional funders or streams
might you be able to add to your funding mix? Who could be funding your organization but isn’t? Consider all the possible sources or streams and determine what is
feasible for your organization based on your mission, geographic region, and
population served. Think through your programs and services, and how they affect the larger
community. For example, if your organization runs an
after-school program for teens, who in the community might be affected by this
program and may be interested in supporting it? Teachers and parents? Small business
owners? Municipalities? Or maybe other community organizations? How much time and money will it take to
secure additional funding partners? Be realistic. Evaluate the revenue potential,
costs, and time it will take to pursue and secure new funding streams. This should help you determine where to focus your efforts. Number four: Create an action plan. A
fundraising action plan sounds more daunting than it actually is. This is where you
set a goal for each revenue strategy or stream. Think through the details– who, when, what, where, and how. Create a
chart, timetable or narrative description outlining the details. So here’s an
example. Let’s say our goal is to raise $60,000 in foundation grants by the end
of the calendar year. Starting at the beginning of the year, the first task is for the development staff. They’re going to research potential prospects using the
Foundation Directory Online, and this work will take place in January and February. Based on our research, we will need to
determine how many possible prospects we have to approach and the appropriate ask
amount. Based on our research we could determine
if the grantmaker has supported similar organizations and/or similar programs, to
whom and for how much. Then we know how much to ask for from
each prospect. Based on that research we can determine
whether a realistic goal is to obtain some combination of: two grants of $30,000; 3
grants at $20,000; five grants at $12,000; or six grants at $10,000. Note that to reach that goal you’ll probably need to approach at least three times as many funders. Why? We estimate one out of three proposals are funded, so you’re often asking for more than you need, knowing that the majority will say no.
Now I know we’re just talking about an example here, but as you’re coming up
with these goals you need to make sure your organization has the time and
capacity to do what you say you’re going to do. It might not be feasible to submit
12 proposals in four months. Keep in mind you’re also working with
funders’ deadlines and timelines. Next the board and staff will review the
list of prospects in the hopes of finding a connection to get a foot in
the door. You’ll want to complete this task by March. Number five: Implement your plan. Next
you’ll implement your action plan and check in regularly at board and staff
meetings to make sure you’re on track. Your fundraising plan isn’t something you
create and then never look at again, it’s a living document. You can and
should revise and adjust it along the way as you begin to see what’s working and
what’s not. Which brings us to Number six: Evaluate your plan. So how will you know
if your plan is successful, and, most importantly, was the money raised
worth the expenditure of time and effort? This lays the groundwork for next year’s plan. Sometimes the answer will be yes and sometimes you’ll want to try something else or eliminate something that didn’t work so well. Looking back at our sample, we’ll want to add reviewing our pending and confirmed
requests to make sure we’re on track. We’re going to want to do this in June, so we
have a full six months to revise our strategy if needed and maybe get a few more
proposals out. And, revise the plan as necessary based on the results. We’re about ready to wrap up, so here are our six steps again. And the key takeaways from today: Know where you’re starting and where you
need to go. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Diversify your funding streams–your
strongest supporters this year might not be your strongest supporters next year.
Who do you need in your funding mix that will keep your river flowing? Set realistic goals–make
sure your plan is applicable and appropriate for your organization, and is
actually achievable. Evaluate your plan and revise as needed. Check in regularly; monitor your success. It
doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning because you’re going to learn
things about your organization, so be flexible and make changes as necessary. Build upon your success and learn from
your weaknesses. That concludes the Introduction to Fundraising Planning
class recording. Before we finish I have some free resources to introduce to you on
our GrantSpace dot org website, a key source of information for nonprofits.
You’ll find many skill areas covered here, including fundraising. On the skill
pages you’ll find related videos, trainings, and more, including FAQs under “Get Answers”. Click on “more” to go to the Knowledge
Base. Let’s look at the Fundraising Planning
category. One of the most helpful questions here is on the case for
support. Lastly, let’s see where you can find the
Foundation Center in your community. One of the Tools available in the pulldown menu is “Find Us”. This is where you can look up the nearest location of a
Funding Information Center. It is through our network of Funding
Information Centers that you can access our funding database, Foundation Directory
Online, free of charge. This is a key tool for researching
potential grantmakers, as we mentioned in our example. We encourage you to explore
more Foundation Center resources and training, and thank you for watching this
recording.

  • Like this one…
    From Mitchell Paul: weco fund was a former cleveland microlender[nonprofit ein #34-1439659 if you wish to look up the public 990 irs forms every charity submits]that closed mid 2012. Spread the gospel of Wealth Education and financial literacy. The charismatic and brilliant PHD certified financial planner has hundreds of millions of assets in her trusts and investments according to her website. Elisabeth Plax also has Armond and Amy Budish investments according to the New York times also ms Plax is frequently on Armond Budishs tv show Golden Opportunities[oppurtunities to defraud the elderly i am afraid]. Elisabeth Plax should be able with such great credentials be to answer the following problem regarding the stolen 45,000$ she was resposible for as the president of weco funds board of trustees. United Way gave weco fund two grants totalling over 157,000$ in 2012. ….that same year weco fund claimed 112,000$ in income from grants!!!!! Elisabeth Plax has not denied to me that she has stolen these funds! Now it gets even more interesting as one might suspect United Way might be concerned about the missing monies…they knew about. from Bill Kitson ceo of united way"i do remember this situation,we stopped funding immediatly upon my understanding there was a problem with the agency. While it is fair to ask what happened to the money,it is unlikely we will ever find out" That is assured if no one looks …and the Plain Dealer and other news organizations will NOT LOOK. United Way also failed to report the thefts. United Way claims to carefully track the grants they make to make sure they are properly spent…an obvious lie. Also a huge amount of bad loans were made….probably made with no intention of repayment to coconspiritors.Please some real journalist look at this huge fiasco being hushed up to prevent embarassment and prosecution of these powerful theives!!

    The latest 990 report from United Way if filed yet(it's on website, not yet on guidestar) in section 6 checks no if there was a significant diversion of assets… Monies were stolen. Michael HEADON has not responded to email… Or Bill Kitson who has admitted the diversion… Why not call it theft

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