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The Futurist

The 2018 fundraising check-in

This article is the first instalment of our fundraising series. Welcome! We’ve also written an ebook that will help you achieve fundraising brilliance.

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The new year is an excellent time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Sometimes we’re pedaling too fast in the day to day to make sure fundraising efforts are aligned to organisation level objectives and that brand communications are reflecting our values and building the communities we set out to create around our causes.

Before you start plotting your fundraising efforts for 2018, take time to reflect on your goals and objectives. This will maximise the impact of fundraising throughout the year and take away the stress of a mid year realisation you’d veered too far off course!

Check in by asking yourself these questions:


  1. Do we know our organisation’s values and vision?

Think of your values as a compass that guides you to fundraising success. Without values, what framework is there to make decisions about fundraising goals and activities? Your vision is your reason for being. It’s what your community is there to support you to achieve, so make sure you refer to it constantly and work towards it.

  1.  What are our organisation level objectives?

The next SMART move is to identify your organisational level goals. Ensure they are achievable, measurable, result-driven, timely and highly specific to keep you motivated and constantly on the go. Are you looking to diversify your revenue streams this year? Or is there a focus on community building?

  1. Do we have fundraising objectives in place, do these support the organisation level objectives?

Now, looking at the answers to the above, how can fundraising help facilitate these goals being realised? If you haven’t done it already, create a list of fundraising objectives that aligns with your organisational objectives and values. How much money needs to be raised from each area of your fundraising portfolio? What strategies and tactics can we implement to achieve this - whether this be a focus on increasing donor retention ratios, or a peer to peer campaign to bring new supporters into the fold.

  1. Have we got a diverse fundraising portfolio? Do we know what’s generating the best ROI?

It’s ideal to have a strong portfolio of revenue streams. Like all things in life, having all your eggs in one basket is a risky move. A mix of programs that work towards your fundraising and organisational objectives helps to ensure sustainability and piques interest from different audiences.

If you’re not already closely tracking the returns on your marketing dollars spent, please make this the year to do so. Make sure you know your which programs deliver the best ROI, your conversion rates from fundraising emails sent on a Friday versus a Tuesday, or if women 18-25 are most likely to convert once they click a Facebook ad. This is how you optimise your marketing spend and generate more fundraising dollars for your brilliant cause.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve written a fundraising guide with more tips for creating and executing a successful fundraising plan. You can find it right here.

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Topics: Nonprofit