New Year Planning: Checklist for Non-Profits





January is here, and you can finally breathe after the end of year rush. Too often however, non profits push off planning only to find themselves disorganized and fumbling three months later when spring arrives and fundraising goals are not being met.

It is important to take a bit of time to rest, but it is also critical to not waste this slower period to plan for the New Year! Be ready for the rest of the year by taking inventory and plotting your milestones in a viable work plan for your staff now.

 

fundraising checklist new year planning

 

Development inventory:

If you have a well formed, functional development plan, great! Or perhaps you do not have a plan yet or are straying from it. Before investing your organizational energy and capacity into fundraising initiatives it is important to revisit your fundraising needs and best practices at this point of the year.

Take inventory of your development status by asking these questions of your organization:

How are we going to meet our goals?

– What worked well last year?

– What did not work well last year?

– What resources do we have available to us this year?
• Number of staff:
• Volunteers:
• Partners:
• Consulting Firms/Freelancers:
• Communication Platforms:
• Board Members:
• Budget:

– Do we have enough prospects for this year and for expected growth going forward? (Calculate a 20% return on estimated fundraising efforts to be safe.) Yes/No
• What other prospects are available?
• Look to the competition.
• Search for new grants.
• Build your partner base.
• What is the best strategy to cultivate new prospects?
• Events, letters, visits, or calls?

Who is responsible for meeting those goals?

– Who on staff is going to plan events?

– Who on staff is going to seek grants?

– Do we have enough volunteers? Yes/No

– Where can we find more volunteers?

– Who will manage volunteers?

Create a work plan:

Now that you have taken an inventory of what your status is and what your resources are, you can create a viable plan with concrete milestones based on your fundraising goals but organized around your resources.

Non profits often make the mistake of doing everything at the same time, i.e. having four events in April and no more for two more months. If you plan ahead with your capacity at the heart of your strategy, you can ration your resources for a greater year end result!

January to March:

Fundraising Goal:
Percentage of Yearly Need:
Major Donors for this Period:
Ask Amount/Expected Income:
Major Fundraising Events and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Major Grant Asks and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Prospect Development and Donor Cultivation:
New Prospect Goal (Dollars to Prospect Ratio):
Cultivation Strategies and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Special Holidays/Events:

Expected Barriers:

Team Meeting Dates:
Regular Weekly/Biweekly:
Special Dates:

April to June:

Fundraising Goal:
Percentage of Yearly Need:
Major Donors for this Period:
Ask Amount/Expected Income:
Major Fundraising Events and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Major Grant Asks and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Prospect Development and Donor Cultivation:
New Prospect Goal (Dollars to Prospect Ratio):
Cultivation Strategies and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Special Holidays/Events:

Expected Barriers:

Team Meeting Dates:
Regular Weekly/Biweekly:
Special Dates:

July to September:

Fundraising Goal:
Percentage of Yearly Need:
Major Donors for this Period:
Ask Amount/Expected Income:
Major Fundraising Events and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Major Grant Asks and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Prospect Development and Donor Cultivation:
New Prospect Goal (Dollars to Prospect Ratio):
Cultivation Strategies and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Special Holidays/Events:

Expected Barriers:

Team Meeting Dates:
Regular Weekly/Biweekly:
Special Dates:

October to December:

Fundraising Goal:
Percentage of Yearly Need:
Major Donors for this Period:
Ask Amount/Expected Income:
Major Fundraising Events and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Major Grant Asks and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Prospect Development and Donor Cultivation:
New Prospect Goal (Dollars to Prospect Ratio):
Cultivation Strategies and Correlating Team Members Responsible:

Special Holidays/Events:

Expected Barriers:

Team Meeting Dates:
Regular Weekly/Biweekly:
Special Dates:

 

Click here for more checklists!

 



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