Developing a fundraising strategy

19 Apr 2016 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 4 Jan 2017

Successful fundraising starts with a fundraising strategy which should identify what resources will be required in order to reach a fundraising goal. A fundraising strategy isn't just about raising money, it helps you to meet your other charitable aims.

A fundraising strategy forms part of the wider business plan for an organisation. As with a business plan, it’s useful to plan fundraising in broad terms three to five years ahead – and have more concrete targets and plans 12 months ahead.

Why is a funding strategy useful?

  • Helps focus, prioritise and diversify fundraising activities.
  • Ensures that there is a shared understanding of your priorities and objectives and how these will be reached
  • Prevents you from wasting time and resources
  • Helps trustees to consider the risks associated with any fundraising actions.
  • Supports the requirements of Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) requirements.
  • Enables potential funders to determine the viability of your organisation and whether their money will assist in achieving your intended purpose.

Things to think about:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to get to?
  • How are we going to get there?

What to do:

  • Outline the main aims and objectives of your project – or your project’s mission statement.
  • Review what is happening externally – eg current economic situation, what the ‘market' is doing
  • Consider what resources do you have available internally
  • Think of where do you want to be and start developing a plan for how to get there
  • Research possible sources of funding
  • Consider are the extra resources you will need in order to fulfil your plan, such as extra volunteers or training.
  • Monitor progress and measure your success

Some questions to ask:

  • What kind, and how much, funding do we need?
  • What kinds of activities (and costs) do we need to fundraise for in the next 12-24 months and how much funding do we need for each area?
  • What are the funding or finance options that we could use to deliver this activity?
  • How might we improve our profile?
  • Do we have a clear case for support that outlines what we need (and why) to potential funders?
  • What other resources will we need?
  • Can we monitor the impact of our activity and demonstrate our success to potential funders/donors/supporters?
  • What will other staff and volunteers need to do to support fundraising?
  • How might Trustees support fundraising?

If you would like some training and support in this area Developing a fundraising strategy half day training session is available on 2 February 2017.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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