Step 1: the fundraising plan

24 May 2021

Developing a fundraising plan is vital – it’s a route map to enable your charity to achieve its aims. COVID-19 emphasised further the value of planning ahead, with organisations with robust financial plans better able to withstand the pandemic*.

 
Having a robust fundraising plan in place will:
 
  • Help improve resilience to short-term shocks.
  • Enable your organisation to have the confidence that it can generate income and run the services it provides.

Fundraising plan template

Your fundraising plan should answer the following questions:

1. What is our vision?

Behind any successful fundraising plan is a clear and inspiring vision. It is a brief aspiration description of what your charity would like to achieve and ensures that: 
 
  • Everyone involved internally is working towards the same end goal.
  • Your external message is clear and consistent.
  • A potential funder can quickly and easily see why they should support your cause.
When writing your vision, try to make sure that it is:

  • Short and concise 
  • Compelling 
  • Specific to your charity 
  • Agreed upon internally
  • Consistent across all your documentation.

Examples of charity vision statements:

Example charity vision statements

2. Where are we now?

To move forward, it is important to first look back. Undertake a thorough fundraising review to understand where you are now, what works well for your charity – and what doesn’t. Include in your review: 
 
  • Current income 
  • Current funding needs
  • The sources you are currently approaching (e.g. individuals, local businesses)
  • The methods you are currently using  (e.g. social media, emails, telephone campaigns)
  • Levels of current fundraising success
  • Skills and experience of your fundraising team or volunteers
  • The commitment of your board and trustees to fundraising  
  • Who your current audience/supporters/donors are.

3. What is our fundraising mix?

The 2020 Ecclesiastical Charity Risk Barometer found that as a general rule, the more funding streams a charity could draw on, the less severely affected it had been by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  
If you can diversify funding streams, or at least start the journey, then your charity will be better protected against any turbulence. To help with sustainability, think about your fundraising mix:
Table showing the fundraising mix

4. What are the targets?

As well as planning your activity, it’s important to plan the value of funds you expect to receive and when.  Use our fundraising plan template to help set financial targets.  
 
Remember you may also have non-financial targets, such as increasing your social media engagement. These targets may not factor into your income stream now, but are important building blocks for future fundraising success. Include these non-finical targets in your plan.

5. What is the timeline?

Create a timetable of project milestones and key dates for fundraising events, appeals and other activity.  This should be a living document that gets updated as often as every week. It needs to be shared within your organisation, so everyone involved in fundraising is up to date and can access it. 
 
Use our fundraising plan template to get started. 
For further support on writing a fundraising plan, watch our webinar with Industry experts from the Directory for Social Change.

Made your plan?

Move to Step 2: Researching possible donors and funders.

Step 2

* 2020 Ecclesiastical Charity Risk Barometer - a survey of 252 senior charity leaders carried out by YouGov on behalf of Ecclesiastical in August 2020