Have you ever been asked to raise an unrealistic amount of money for your nonprofit? You’re not alone…
At many nonprofits the budgeting process goes something like this:
There’s one problem here (ok there are many problems but I’ll highlight one…) just because we want to do something doesn’t always mean that we can.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for breaking ceilings and doing what we thought couldn’t be done. And I’m also pragmatic.
Say as an organization you’ve raised roughly $500,000 a year for the last 3 years. If you are all of a sudden asked to raise $1M this year, while you might want to do that, you may or may not have a donor pipeline to support that goal.
There’s a better way to set a fundraising goal. It starts with understanding your donor base and your past fundraising success. From there you can create a plan of the activities, events and appeals you’ll do for the year and how much you think you can raise from each.
When we set goals around our metrics we set our team and organization up for success. The budgeting process works best as a combined effort between the finance, fundraising and program departments.
It can take time to change how your organization does its budgeting. If you’re being presented with a goal that you think is unrealistic, start by asking questions such as: How did you come to this number? How do you envision we raise this when our numbers last year were much lower?
At the same time, begin laying the groundwork so that you can help set the goal for next year. This starts with educating yourself and your leadership. Consider these 5 tactics:
Including your leadership in your fundraising efforts is so important. It can also be tricky. That’s why in today’s freebie I’m sharing 5 tips for how to include your leadership in fundraising strategy all year long.