pexels-photo-1020323Unless you can raise enough funds to fuel your operations and growth at a sustainable level, your nonprofit might be forced to cut back on services, or even cease close its doors altogether, which is one of the reasons why effective fundraising is so crucial for most NFPs. The following four steps will help you make the most out of your fundraising campaigns and improve your results.

Create a Plan

Many nonprofits, especially small to mid-sized ones, make a mad dash for cash each year, basing their fundraising events on their current account balances. Rather than blindly hosting the same auction or direct solicitation event that you’ve always done, you will find that you get better results if you approach fundraising with a strategic plan.

Create well-written plans for individual fundraising campaigns, as well as a written, comprehensive program that spells out the number and type of fundraising activities that you will host each year.

Keep the Focus on Your Mission

When creating your fundraising plans, look at your overall budget, and needs to help you set your fundraising targets to keep your goals reasonable and mission-centric. Create a budget for your individual fundraising activities to ensure that all your events and projects are a cost-effective use of your NFP’s resources that will be well worth the time and effort!

Don’t be Afraid to Change Things Up

Over time, many nonprofits find that they are stuck holding the same old gala or festival because they’ve “done” it that way. Holding on old ways of doing things simply for the sake of tradition is dangerous because you run the risk of losing donations to organisations whose cause might seem more exciting and therefore worthier of a contribution simply because they are new.

When planning your activities for the year, diversify your fundraising activities. Consider adding different events, or, holding them in various formats, to keep things interesting. For example, if you’ve always held in-person events, consider streaming it live online to increase the reach of your messages and generate more buzz about your mission.

Look for ways to add different types of funding to the mix. For example, in addition to direct fundraising appeals, research grants that you might qualify for, and seek out partnerships with third parties to help you accomplish more without the need for extra funds and other resources!

Adjust Along the Way to Improve Your Results!

As part of the planning process, set benchmarks to help you measure your progress towards your funding targets so that you can measure your performance during individual fundraising activities. Test your messages at different stages of your campaign and gain the insight that you need to take corrective action. Adjust your approach so that you can improve your performance as each campaign or other fundraising event unfolds, increasing your results! At the end of each fiscal year, use analytics to review your fundraising plan to discover which activities were the most advantageous to your cause. Some important metrics to keep in mind include your total donations raised, the percentage of recurring contributions as well as whether your fundraising activities increased your NFP’s support in other areas, such as encouraging greater rates of volunteering and advocacy on your behalf.