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> Fundraising | An Initial Lecture

1.Introduc tion

Fundraising is one of the most important activities you organization will undertake.

Proper fundraising means the difference between a viable organization, able to carry on its education and advocacy efforts, and

one that is not. Proper process includes the following:
Development of a fundraising plan by setting organizational goals, evaluating current fundraising programs, setting new fundraising goals, setting a financial development budget, setting an action plan, and, finally, evaluating your efforts.

2.

The

growing competition for donor$

In 1987, there were 422,103 non-profit organization in the United States registered with the IRS. By 1997, the number had increased to 692,524, and by 2004, there were over 1,400.000. The astounding increase illustrates the growing competition for donor dollar. The internet has created additional competition With information about non-profits more available, donors are able to choose more carefully whom they fund. Also, increased media attention on the use of funds by charitable organizations has encouraged more people to seek out this type of information.

3.

What are your
organization’s goals?

Without setting organization goals and without outlining strategies to meet these goals, the everyday task of fundraising will have no direction. Indeed, organizational goals and fundraising goals must be set at the same time; each affects the other. In other words, your fundraising strategy is dependent on what you organization plans to do.

Your organization should carefully answer to questions below:
1) 2) What programs and services do you currently provide? What programs and services will you provide in the future?

Both internal and external considerations will further determine what programs and services your organization is reasonably equipped to provide:

Internal Considerations
• Organization’s mission • Available financial resources • Available staff time • Staff expertise

External Considerations
• Current and potential future economy • Programs and services provided by similar organizations

• Government regulations

4. Setting realistic fundraising goals
Again, fundraising goals and organizational goals must be set at the same time: each impacts the other. Too often, an organization sets program goals that require funds far too great for the organization to generate.

When setting need to be answered, including:

fundraising goals, many questions

• How much money is needed to fund specific programs and services, as well as pay for day-to-day operations of the organization? • Which current income source generates the largest share of income? Is that source expected to shrink? To grow? To remain the same? • Which income sources are the most reliable? What can you really count on? • Which income sources are the least reliable? What might be “here today, gone tomorrow”? • Which income sources, regardless of size, have the most growth potential for your organization?

5.

How effective is your
current fundraising program?
Planning Board of Directors Volunteers Development Staff Financial Resources • • • • Donor Research Fundraising Support Systems Fundraising techniques Public Relations

Evaluating the strengths and weakness of your current fundraising plan will point you in the right direction for making any necessary changes. To evaluate the effectiveness of your current fundraising plan, you must identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in various areas:

• • • • •

6.

Setting the
fundraising budget

It is often said, “It costs money to raise money.” At the same time, the general public expects non-profit organizations to raise funds in the most cost-effective way possible. Your organization must set a realistic budget for both the income generated from fundraising and the expenses entailed in fundraising.

> Income can come from the following:
Earned Income 2) The Annual Fund
1)

Gifts Solicited by Mail

Gifts Solicited by

Telephone Major Gifts Board of Directors Gifts Unsolicited Gifts Memorial Gifts Commemorative Gifts

3) 4) 5)

Corporate Gifts (Restricted or Unrestricted) Foundation Grants Government Grants

6) 7)

Special Events In-Kind Gifts

Expenses should include:
Personnel (including benefits and training) 2) Supplies 3) Printing (including design) 4) Postage and shipping 5) Telephone, fax and internet 6) Photocopying 7) Travel 8) Food/Entertainment 9) Professional services/consultants 10) Professional organization dues (e.g. National Society of Fundraising Executives) 11) Equipment (computers, fax machines, printers, copiers) 12) Subscriptions (e.g. Chronicle of Philanthropy, Non-Profit Times)
1)

13)

Charities Registration Fees*

7. Setting an action plan
As you set your goals and budget, and take into account the different fundraising methods available to you, a formal plan of action will begin to develop. When setting the action plan, be sure to make your goals realistic. For example, planning to solicit 10,000 people through a telephone campaign is

unrealistic if there are not enough staff and volunteers to make the calls.

8.

Evaluating

your successes and achievements
The most obvious measure of your fundraising success is the bottom line. Did you reach the fundraising dollars goals you set? It is important to remember, however, that there is more to evaluate than just the amount of dollars raised. Many issues that either contributed or detracted from the process of meeting the financial goal need to be evaluated as well.

For example:
• • • • How did staff, board and volunteers perform? Was new leadership discovered? Was the budget realistic? How diversified is the funding? Are funds being raised from many different sources or just a few? Are there one or two sources that account for the majority of funds raised? • Are front-end systems (prospect identification, research, solicitation materials production) running properly? • Are back-end systems (gift processing, donor acknowledgment, donor information tracking) running properly?

It is also important to look at achievements that might not be considered successes.
Consider this example: If a goal was to raise $100,000 and only $80,000 is raised, it is not considered a success. However, if only $64,000 was raised during the previous year, the achievement is 25% increase in funds raised over the previous year.

Once you have evaluated your program, use the results to improve you fundraising planning in the future: Based on the results, how will the next set of goals be different? What budget items need to be changed? What could be done more effectively in the action plan?

9.

Conclusion

Fundraising is an ongoing activity for a non-profit organization. Each fiscal year, a fundraising budget should be drawn up and a fundraising calendar should be planned.

And for your organization to be successful in its fundraising efforts, you must constantly coordinate fundraising plans with program plans: the fundraising committee must know organizational goals in order to set funding goals, while the board of directors must be aware of fundraising constraints in order to set organizational goals.

The National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center of the National Mental Health connected with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services. In addition, the NCSTAC Advisory Council helped to provide some of the research here.

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