Adventures in Fundraising: Sounds Like a Plan

Google Master Plan (frame 2)

Image by jurvetson via Flickr

This post is part of a series.  Catch up on previous Adventures in Fundraising posts here.

Time to adjust

So this “regular update” thing turned out to be harder than I thought.  When I started this journey I committed to weekly updates on our progress.  That did not happen.  Based on the way it didn’t happen I’m rethinking the goal.  Theoretically, weekly updates should be a great motivation and accountability tool.

And yet, here is how it was playing out:

I posted a goal, the week flew by and before I knew it, it was time to report– but I didn’t have anything substantial to say.  Feeling crappy about that, I put off the report for a couple of days, expecting to get more work done so I’d have something to report.  The longer I wait, the more I feel like I need to include before I write.  Then the guilt →procrastination, cycle ensues.

Not Good.

So, I’m going to release the pressure on this for a bit.  I’m still committed to writing about what works and what doesn’t, but without a deadline on when those updates will happen.

On to the real update!

I mentioned last time that while it feels like we are just starting out, we’d been talking about fundraising for awhile.  Until I went back to look for the specifics, I didn’t realize just how much had been done.

We developed a strategic plan for 2010 and have made (and continue to make) some progress towards those goals.  One of the goals, applying for non-profit (501c3/ charity) status is nearly done and required us to develop the same kinds of materials we need to kick off a strong fundraising campaign.  We even completed one small fundraising campaign and set the stage for another, broader ask.

We also have a good start on the foundation we need for the 2011 fundraising campaign.  According to the NOLO book, creating a list of your organization’s fundraising assets is a key element to building a fundraising plan.  And, because it’s NOLO there is also a handy chart.  While this version of the chart is empty for now,  we did a very similar exercise in a board meeting last year, so we’ve got a great place to start.  We need to make some updates, and we’ve got some “translation” work to do, but most of the heavy lifting is finished.

In addition to knowing what we have, we need to know what we need.  In other words, we need a budget.  While I was on vacation, other board members (Thanks J. and Greg!) were hard at work capturing the Mach 30 budget for 2010 (so much easier when the year is almost over!) and drafting the 2011 budget.  We still need to work with the whole board to finalize the budget and go through a formal approval process, but again, mostly done.

Now that we know what we have, and know what we need for 2011, we can spend some board meeting time deciding how to use our assets to raise the money we will need.  Sounds simple!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Test tubes and other recipients in chemistry lab

Image by Horia Varlan via Flickr

Baby experiment

We are well on our way to a fundraising plan for 2011.  You may, however have noticed 2010 isn’t actually over.  So rather than waiting until January to kick off our efforts, We are planning a “mini campaign” for the rest of 2010.

The most expensive (and most effective) thing we do right now to spread the word about Mach 30 is send people to conferences.  Since we have no budget to speak of, travelers have been covering this expense out of pocket.  While we don’t think it’s appropriate for Mach 30 to cover 100%   of such expenses, we would like to be able to contribute.  We’d also like other active Mach 30 participants (beyond board members) to access the travel funds.

I’ve not worked out the details on this campaign yet–so if you have ideas, now is the time to share them in the comments!

For next time

  • update asset list, and transfer information into the asset inventory worksheet
  • finalize the 2011 budget
  • write and launch the travel campaign
  • keep reading the NOLO book

How are your fundraising efforts coming?  Share with us in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Fundraising: Sounds Like a Plan

  1. Maureen, good for you for keeping on, keeping on! The structure you are using from the NOLO book sounds helpful. And I thought I’d share a simple spreadsheet tool for creating an communication plan that will compliment your fundraising plan. You can read about it here:

    The communication plan is just one of the tabs from more details Excel worksheet you can find on the resources tab of my website.

    I’m all for using what works and not reinventing the wheel. Good luck on your journey!

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s