7 Steps to Stay Out of Fundraising Crisis Mode
It’s that time again. It’s fundraising planning time. The fiscal year closed on June 30.
And I bet you are working now on your detailed operational fundraising plans for the coming year. (I hope so anyway!)
Why not take time right now to create a complete fundraising plan that can catapult your fundraising to new heights—one that can even transform your results?
Why not step back right now and lay out plans to upgrade all your various fundraising programs?
To help you, I’ve created two important virtual workshops that will guide you to develop your own Transformational Fundraising and Solicitation Plan for 2015-16:
- Build Infrastructure: The 10 Factors that Can Transform Your Fundraising Results (Thursday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m. ET)
- Create a Fundraising and Solicitation Action Plan for 2015-16 (Thursday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m. ET)
Here’s a template and checklist to create a killer fundraising plan to upgrade all your various fundraising programs and bring in major money for 2015-16:
1. You know where to focus your time and energy.
How do you know what to do and when to do it? How do you know how to deploy your terribly scarce resources of time and money? You’ve got to have a guide—before you start—of what you are going to do and when you're going to do it, and what results you expect to create. If you have a calendar, a timetable, agreed-upon strategies—then you can work your plan. This takes the guessing game out of fundraising.
Otherwise: You’ll waste your good resources of time, energy and funding. And you won’t get the results you want.
2. You can stay out of crisis mode.
Don’t you just love a crisis? Aren’t you dying for some drama to add spice to your day? I'm not! A good plan sets up the dominoes so they’ll fall down smoothly. A good fundraising plan lets you work smoothly and coolly. You and your team can keep your heads as you work your plan methodically. It just makes life flow easier. It lets you breathe.
Otherwise: You may end up in crisis after crisis, wallowing and hoping that something will pan out successfully.
3. You can control the flow of work in your office.
With a good plan, you can time your major fundraising programs so they don’t overlap each other. A good plan keeps you from being buried in work. You can make sure that the gala is not happening at the same time as your annual appeal, or that your major donor event doesn’t overlap with an important conference. You have the time to plan ahead so that each fundraising strategy can get done with excellence (and without crisis).
Otherwise: Havoc may reign in your office.
4. You have protection from your board’s fundraising idea of the month.
We’ve all been there. A well-meaning board member gets fired-up over some strange new fundraising idea. And she’s convinced that this, this, will save your organization. What do you do? Well, you calmly bring out your fundraising plan—one that everyone signed off on months ago. And you say, “If we do this new idea/strategy, what fundraising program shall we give up? We don’t have the manpower to do it all. Usually, cooler heads will prevail. And everyone will understand the wisdom of keeping with the current plan.
Otherwise: You are at the mercy of the idea of the week. And you’re stuck.
5. You can shift from reactive to proactive.
Your plan also keeps you from being buffeted around by what’s happening around you. You don’t have be reacting all the time. A good plan gives you flexibility and time to deal with roadblocks and breakdowns. Instead, you are proactive. You have everything in place so that your plan is effective and efficient, and will bring in the donors and the money you need. Whew. I can just feel everybody around you relaxing.
Otherwise: Rush around, lose sleep, create tension and lose your quality of life.
6. You can build confidence in your fundraising program.
When people above you have confidence in you and your plan, they will leave you alone and let you do your work. And they will smile when they see you because you are exuding confidence. Enough said.
Otherwise: If they don’t have confidence in you, they will meddle with your plans and your program. They’ll institute weird metrics to measure you by. Don’t let this happen to you.
7. You will raise tons more money.
Clearly, a solid plan will help you raise more money. A good plan gives you confidence. You have time to do the work required to court major donors. And you’ll be organized to plan a profitable gala, to develop a sequenced year-end fundraising campaign and to get your website working smoothly. You even have time to take a vacation or two.
If you want to create your own killer plan that will take you where you want to go, join me for my two important workshops: Create a Transformational Fundraising and Solicitation Plan for 2015-16. Check them out. I hope you can join me!
Bottom Line: Have a wonderful summer. Take some time off. And create that plan. It will protect you and it will make your life smoother and happier.
And you’ll raise a lot more money!