In the current economic climate and with changes in funding methods the question of how to maintain current income sources and generating new ones is high on the agenda for many organisations. Here we look at how a fundraising strategy can help you plan ahead and be of benefit to your organisation.
Producing a fundraising strategy will help your organisation take a detailed look at its funding needs and develop a plan of how it can meet them.
It will help you move away from planning and fundraising for projects in isolation. Rather than relying on funding opportunities as and when they come up, you can seek to be more systematic and take a more rounded and longer-term view.
You need to examine the aims and objectives of the organisation as a whole, and put in place a plan, which helps you meet them. You will need to decide timescales and targets for your fundraising efforts.
The process helps to ensure you are well prepared and organised to give you the best chance of being able to replace existing funds and/or to enable the organisation to expand through new funding.
A fundraising strategy will also help your organisation improve its targeting of funders, consider different options and encourages shared ownership in the organisation for fundraising planning.
AIMS: What do you want to achieve?
OBJECTIVES: What do you plan to do (activities, services)?
BUDGET: What will it cost to achieve your Aims and Objectives?
TIMING: When do you need the money/resources by?
Ideally your fundraising strategy should be linked to, or be part of a business or Strategic Plan. This will ensure that you analyse the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a so-called SWOT analysis) that will affect your organisation, and that you include any internal plans in your financial planning.
Developing a fundraising strategy can be led by a member of the management committee or staff but should also be discussed and agreed with the management committee as a whole.
Also remember it is a working document which should be referred to for guidance. Therefore it is essential that it be reviewed regularly to ensure it is still relevant and up to date.