Fundraising Strategy Development

a) Is your organisation a fundraising organisation?

Ask yourself whether these apply to your organisation:

Mission and Communication
We have a clear, simply stated mission.
We keep focused on the mission and make it central to all communication, including the need for income.

Leadership and Resources
Our Trustees and Senior Leadership see themselves as fundraisers; understand that it is the only way to achieve the mission; take a long-term approach; accept change; commit time and resources.
We invest in fundraising.

Staff
Every member of the organisation has seen the work in action – particularly the fundraisers.
All the staff have training in fundraising principles and donor relations.
Every member of the organisation can relay the key messages with emotive stories, and talk about the organisation’s work to a donor.
Every member of staff interacts with donors periodically.
Fundraisers are seen by all staff as highly professional and central to the organisation.

Test the above
1. Can you tell your organisation’s mission, with a story, simply and emotively to a friend (or donor)? What is their response?
2. Can you describe your organisation’s work to a friend (or donor), its history and its plans?
3. Can you explain your organisation’s fundraising strategy to a friend (or donor), including the costs needed to generate income?
4. When did you last see your organisation’s work and its beneficiaries on the front line?
5. When did you last interact with a donor?

b) Researching and planning a fundraising strategy

Possible fundraising strategy headings

1) Description of the organisation – and vision, mission, core values
2) Major achievements
3) SWOT analysis
4) The case for support
5) The current funding environment
6) The organisation’s recent fundraising history
7) Short, medium, long term plans for each type of funding
8) Ethical issues (rationale for any fundraising not planned)
9) Resources required
10) Action plan
11) Financial plan
12) Critical success factors, KPIs, outcomes, impact

c) How to choose a funder

Checklist

• The general areas the funder is interested in: age range, type of disadvantage, geographical area
• Specific priority areas within their general areas
• Specific exclusions: for certain types or sizes of organisation
• Past projects and organisations they have funded
• The minimum and maximum amount they fund, and their average fund amount
• Deadlines for applications and ensuring your project timescale is feasible in relation to when you will hear the result
• Whether they will fund core costs or capital costs, a proportion of related core costs within a project, or ‘full cost recovery’ (where they will fund the full proportion of organisational overheads that your project warrants through a calculation of its size against the whole organisational size.)

d) How funders will assess your organisation and project

Checklist

• That you are capable of managing that amount of money, and have a track record
• That your organisation is sustainable and financially secure, though not with reserves of such size that they could be used instead of the funding
• That you have a track record of working successfully with similar funders
• That you are providing value for money, but also a realistic budget to achieve the project objectives
• If required, that you have match funding or in kind funding, or realistic assessment of your proposed match funding requests being successful
• That you have a plan for sustaining your project beyond the length of their funding
• That your organisation is distinct, different from similar services, and you can articulate why you are the best organisation for them to fund for this cause
• That your project is innovative: that you are aware of and have been able to show it is adapted to suit the latest research or evidence; that you are aware of current trends in funding or activity, but that your work is not simply repeating other work but has some new component, audience, outcome
• That you have suitable partnerships in place, or a rationale for not partnering other organisations in the sector they might know
• That your work is accessible, and will reach your target participants
• That you clearly articulate the social need, and how you will address that need
• That you have evidence of the need, including direct evidence from your own previous projects or consultation
• That you have evidence that your work makes a difference, with case studies of your past successes
• That you clearly understand ‘outputs’ (activities) and ‘outcomes’ (changes in participants and society caused by the activities).
• That your outputs clearly support your outcomes
• That the outcomes you propose are achievable and measurable, and are addressing the social need
• That your monitoring processes are robust
• That your evaluation framework is robust, achievable but also ambitious, proving impact through baseline measurements and, where required, longitudinal measurement

e) Advantages and disadvantages of different funding types

Use this to help you assess what funding types are most suitable for your needs and capacity.

f) Developing a fundraising strategy

We provide a comprehensive plan for your fundraising strategy.

The downloadable pdf includes:
- Understand the organisation
- Analysis of financial information
- Sources of income
- Risk assessment
- Income stream analysis
- Template for developing fundraising guidance