Many non-profits, particularly smaller charities and start-ups, operate without ever knowing how to write a fundraising plan. When someone has an idea for an event or a campaign, these organizations simply put together a host committee or volunteer group and go for it. They may send out a letter here and there, and do some donor meetings, and when the bank account seems to be low, they often go into “panic mode” and race around trying to find cash to keep the doors open.
This is definitely not the best way to run your development program. Even if your non-profit is flush with cash, running an un-organized and un-planned fundraising operation is a recipe for stress, headaches, and ultimately, financial ruin.
How can we avoid this? The best way is by having a written fundraising plan. No matter how small your church, school, or charity is, or how far along you are into your operations, your group needs a comprehensive, well-written fundraising plan. A written plan will allow you to focus your efforts, plan out your yearly fundraising calendar, and give you guidance on strategy and tactics when you are in the thick of events, mailings, and calls. In short, your fundraising plan will keep you sane in the insane day-to-day world of the development office.