Developing a fundraising strategy
Your organizationís mission outlines the purpose for your work and what you are trying to achieve, it is this mission that should be at the heart of your fundraising strategy. From this mission, you should base your organizational and project plans; including the targets, aims and objectives, specific tasks and the required resources and budgets to achieve them. These plans will make clear what you need to obtain funding for, why it is important, who is involved and how you are going to achieve your objectives. This will form the basis of your fundraising strategy which outlines how you intend to fund your organizationís objectives. Aim to integrate your fundraising and organizational plans.
Make a case
A case statement sets out why potential funders should support your objectives and how they can contribute to your activities. An effective case statement needs to be concise, coherent, urgent and motivating and will include:
- Information on the organization, its mission and activities
- Why the work is important and urgent, using facts and figures if they are available
- Specific objectives for the activity, what the outcomes will be and who will benefit
- A plan of activities, budget and timescale
- Why you are the best organization to do the work; including recent successes and testimonials
- How the funder will make a difference
Once you have your case statement and have decided who will fundraise, screen and shortlist potential funders for the activity and consider how you can work in strategic partnerships with funders. Remember that you are a contributor to the relationship with your funders, fulfilling a societal need through working to achieve your mission, and not only a recipient of funds. Take time to get to know your funders and develop relationships with them through formal and informal meetings to discuss your work and mutual aims.
Top tips for fundraising:
- Develop a fundraising strategy and plan - remember to base this on your mission and objectives
- Develop a case statement that reflects who you are, what you do and what your objectives are; focus on the benefits and include examples and testimonials. Check that your facts are correct!
- Share the case for support with the whole organization and seek views
- Choose dynamic leaders for your fundraising campaigns
- Involve your board in various aspects of your fundraising strategy
- Continually build, slice, and dice your potential funders list
- Build an online audience with social media
- Communicate regularly with your current and potential supporters; in person, by phone, through social media, the web, e-mail, newsletters, and print; to connect with funders
- Assess your effectiveness in all campaigns and do more of what works and less of what doesnít
- Be transparent and consistent; always acknowledge your funding sources.
- Diversify funding sources.
- Outline the amount of funding required or suggest an amount for sponsorship. You donít get what you donít ask for!
- Build relationships with funders and supporters; work with funders as partners and supporters of your organizationís mission.
- Remember to thank your funders and send reports with the achievements of the project.
Links to resources
Funraising Strategy Essentials - NCVO provide information on how to develop a fundraising strategy
IAPO Toolkit: Working with Partners and Stakeholders - IAPO's toolkit provides tools to develop partnerships and fundraising guidance
The Patients' Exchange Fundraising Resource Share - IAPO's Patients Exchange provides a forum to share fundraising information
Building Blocks for Successful Fundraising - IAPO held a session at the 5th Global Patients Congress on fundraising. View the slides.
Fundraising For Dummies - Provides tools to create a fundraising strategy