The Secret to a Smart Annual Fundraising Plan
It's the slow time of mid-summer, and lots of smart fundraisers are taking advantage of some well-deserved breathing room.
Many fundraisers are taking time right now to look ahead at the coming busy year. They are crafting their annual fundraising plans. We all know that a little planning now helps you stay sane later when things get really busy.
But here's the big mistake so many smart fundraisers make when they create their fundraising plans: They put everything that they want to do in the plan and load up that plan with additional fundraising strategies that they think they should be doing — even pie-in-the-sky strategies. (Yup, we all have a list of those!) Even if they are clearly unrealistic. Even if there is no way the strategies can actually be implemented.
Why do smart fundraisers keep this up? Because they are so full of energy that they're wiling to tackle more than is humanly possible. They overcommit themselves.
So please, my fundraising friend. Don't be too overly optimistic about your time availability when you set plans for the upcoming year. Be careful. Be strategic!
Here's the secret
When you put your plan together, make clear-eyed choices about what you will do and what you won't do. Be realistic about what is really possible — for you and your staff.
If you are completely realistic, then you set priorities among all the interesting fundraising strategies available to you.
When you make smart choices and set thoughtful priorities about where you are going to spend your time and resources, then you have a solid, workable fundraising plan.