5 Steps to Creating a Successful Fundraising Strategy


Fundraising is the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. And the key to successful fundraising is a strong strategic plan. Follow these five steps to build a foundation rooted in strategy.

Step #1: Craft a Case for Support

Donors give to causes that they feel passionate about. One way to develop this connection is to position your organization as the solution to a problem. Demonstrate your impact, as well as what it could be with their support. Your case for support should answer the following questions:

  • What is the issue?

  • Why does it matter?

  • How does your organization combat this issue?

  • What is your impact?

  • How can the donor get involved?

The decision to contribute to a cause is personal, so it is important to tell a compelling and personal story that creates emotion.

Step #2: Establish Campaign Objectives

Before you can dive into the nitty-gritty planning details, it is critically important to establish campaign objectives. These benchmarks will guide your strategic approach and also provide a tool for measuring your success. Ensure that your objectives are tangible and not subjective.

Step #3: Define Your Audience

If budgets were unlimited, we would target everyone. In reality, it’s essential to be very strategic and intentional about the audience to whom we distribute our message. Start first with your current donors – identify their demographics, characteristics, interests, etc. Use this information to develop profiles of your ideal prospects. Drilling down to the audience that has a proven propensity to give will maximize your efforts.

Step #4: Determine a Communication Strategy

With the campaign message, objectives, audiences, and budget in mind, evaluate the best vehicle(s) in which to distribute your message. Utilizing digital advertising tactics allows for precise targeting capabilities, vivid storytelling opportunities, and a seamless connection to your online donation portal. In addition, you’re able to report on interactions and conversions that are directly connected to particular ad units.

Step #5: Measure & Optimize

Once the campaign has launched, don’t kick up your feet just yet. Your success hinges on the ability to act in real time. In order to achieve the greatest success, consistently review performance analytics and adjust where needed. Not all media is as nimble as digital, and there is always room for improvement. Wherever you can, test-market copy and images to identify and gauge your audience’s responsiveness.

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