4 minute read

This plan will unite your board under goals and metrics and get them fired up to help fundraise.

For many nonprofits, board members are the innovative cartographers who keep the organization on course while charting out the unknown terrain that lies ahead. They are committed to the future of their nonprofit’s values, goals and mission, but absolutely none of their planning can happen without robust fundraising. 

Why then—since fundraising is so darn essential—are some nonprofit board members so removed from your funding efforts? You will have the most fundraising success if your board, executives and staff all work closely together. And in order to leverage the fundraising power of your board, you need to provide them with a clear plan of attack and help them know what they need to contribute. 

In setting fundraising expectations for your board, highlight their individual strengths and tailor tasks to those abilities so they feel comfortable and empowered to reach out to donors. And as you’re getting everyone pumped to raise some money, you can piece together your nonprofit’s fundraising plan with the 7 key elements we’ll dive into below.

1. Develop an engaging campaign theme.

The theme of your fundraising efforts is the hook that will capture the attention of not only your donors, but also your board. A distinct purpose crystallized into a catchy theme can unify your team and spark ideas within individual board members who are then more motivated to make your vision a reality. 

To choose a theme, think about an aspect of your nonprofit’s mission you are particularly proud of and boil it down to a punchy, exciting selling point. Your theme will then set your organization apart from the multitude of other nonprofits vying for funding and give your donors a simple way to connect with your purpose.

2. Use data to define and predict progress.

Before you can set goals or define success, you have to know what past data you’re comparing to your upcoming campaign. Dig through your nonprofit’s records, pull data points that show your fundraising revenue from the past few years and project your expected revenue this year. You’ll then know if you’re on track to meet your goals and your board will have a more tangible understanding of a successful campaign.

3. Break down where revenue comes from and how it’ll be used.

A comprehensive spending breakdown is one of the most important assets you can create to motivate your board to fundraise. Potential donors will inevitably ask board members how their money will be spent, and if board members are unsure it can reflect poorly on your organization. 

Ensuring your whole team knows how your funds will be used emboldens them to start conversations with potential donors and gives donors a genuine understanding of the impact of their gift. They may even be moved to become recurring donors.

4. Plan to acquire new donors.

The tried-and-true best way to increase funding is to gain more loyal donors. If you want completely new people to give money to your nonprofit, you need to know how you’re going to find them and win them over. Whether you host outreach events or boost your marketing campaign, you should prepare your board to discuss their work with new people and create an infrastructure to support an influx of donors.

5. Get creative!

A little innovation goes a long way. When so many campaigns are competing for your donors’ attention, your nonprofit’s messaging needs to stand out. Get your board involved and brainstorm ways to freshen up your nonprofit’s brand so it reignites interest in your current donors and elicits curiosity from potential new ones.

If your fundraising efforts feel stale to donors, your ROI will suffer. But creativity always pays.

6. Have an online giving strategy.

Online donations have grown exponentially over the past several years, so your organization should be ready to accept funds in any way they are given. It should be quick and easy for people to donate on the desktop and mobile versions of your website. To ensure donors are drawn to your website and the website is user-friendly, develop an online strategy that complements your other fundraising tactics. 

And if your nonprofit wants some expert guidance to get its website in tip-top shape, Firespring is here to help.

7. Determine your expected costs and their ROI.

As you develop your marketing, branding and online fundraising plans, get your board involved in monitoring your nonprofit’s expected campaign expenses. Keep track of your organization’s spending so you and your board can better project the expected ROI on your investments.

With these 7 elements, you can create an impactful fundraising plan your board, team members and donors will be proud to support. And these pointers are just the tip of the fundraising iceberg. To learn a whole lot more about how to activate your board to kick butt at fundraising, head over to our webinar, Get Your Board to Help You Fundraise—Even if They Don’t Wanna! and get ready to make some proverbial waves.

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