A fundraising plan contains the fundraising activities your organization will implement over a set period of time. These activities will have specific, measurable goals. The end result will be a sustainable fundraising program that provides the necessary funds to fulfill the nonprofit organization’s mission. The fundraising plan is a powerful tool for any nonprofit. Before proceeding to Part 6 in our Writing a Fundraising Plan series, please review Part 1: Planning to Plan , Part 2: Reaching Out Into the Community, Part 3: Engaging Your Board in Fundraising, Part 4: Individual Donors, and Part 5: Lapsed Donors.
Part 6 of our series on Writing a Fundraising Plan reviews how non donors and prospective donors can be identified and cultivated in your fundraising program.
As we move through the fundraising plan, we have addressed donor groups who have connected to our organization in one way or another. They are the people who support your annual appeal, respond to various campaigns and attend special events. There are other groups who have not yet contributed financially in your database that also need attention.
Non donors are in every database. The real question is why are they there? To answer that begin by segmenting their source and how long they have been in your database. If an individual has been in your database for five or more years and no one on the staff or board identifies with the source, then you will want to remove them from your database.
If they have been in your database for less than five years and the staff or board can identify with the source, then create a strategy to cultivate and solicit them. Activities to consider would be an invitation for a tour and breakfast with the Executive Director or personal calls from board members.
What you need to decide, is it worth the time and cost to convert this group into donors? Are they prospective donors?
The only way to really know if someone is interested in your organization and its mission is to ask. If you have prospective donors in your database or others out in the community that you would like to be donors, you have to first identify them. Create a donor prospect form and gather basic information about each prospect. Have a list of four or five questions that you would like answered about the individual. Select a small committee to complete the forms and determine if the prospect might have both inclination and capacity to give to your organization.
Develop a cultivation plan for each individual. Implement the plan until it reaches a natural conclusion that either you realize the prospect is not interested or you ask for the gift. This process takes time and dedication. You are seeking those individuals who will support your organization now and into the future. The more authentic the conversations are with your prospects, the greater the opportunities.
The next part of the fundraising plan will review strategies for donor acquisition.