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Key Elements of a Nonprofit Funding Plan

For any nonprofit, fundraising is a never-ending process and with the large amount of advice, sources, strategies and tools – it can feel a bit overwhelming.

How do you stay the course to become fully funded and avoid chasing rabbit trails?

It starts with developing an annual funding plan. A plan that supports your strategic objectives. A plan that is donor-centric and makes donor care a priority. A plan that has buy-in from the board and staff. The entire organization must embrace a “culture of philanthropy” to thrive in the world of fundraising today!

So… what elements make up a good annual funding plan?

Here's a few tips.

#1. Start with the end in mind.

What does success look like for you on December 31st? By doing your mission, what measurable results do you anticipate?


  • No foster child without a mentor in your county

  • 10,000 meals provided in your city

  • 50 mentors for inner city youth

#2. Determine your fundraising goal.

How much money do you need to accomplish your goals?

Align your fundraising goals with your mission, strategic objectives and operating budget.

#3. Detail your method.

What tactics will you use to raise the needed funds?

Your plan should list tactics and answer key questions such as:

Who is responsible? What is the timeline? How will you track outcomes?

Examples of fundraising tactics:

  • Peer to peer fundraising

  • Crowdfunding

  • Face-to-face asks

  • Events

  • Direct mail

  • Email marketing

  • Social media campaigns

  • Grant writing

  • Securing matching gifts

  • Major donor development

  • Corporate sponsorship

  • Monthly partners

#4. Diversify your revenue stream.

Don’t put all your funding eggs in one basket. Healthy non-profits diversify revenue by tapping a variety of resource streams. Examples:

  • Individuals

  • Churches

  • Grants

  • Corporations

  • Events

  • Earned Income

#5. Craft your elevator pitch.

After developing your plan, it’s time to go out into the community and share your story! Developing an elevator pitch helps you share your story in a clear, concise and compelling manner. Start with a staggering statistic. It can be very powerful!


Did you know that in last year, 151 Baldwin County women had an abortion? CPC was started in 1992 by a group of local Christians who saw a need to reach out to women facing unplanned pregnancies with love and truth so that they may be spared from the devastation of abortion that was becoming more and more prevalent in our world.  We offer women in unplanned pregnancy situations free pregnancy tests confirmed by ultrasound. We give them information on all of their options so that they may make an informed decision regarding the outcome of their pregnancy. It is our desire that with the services and information they receive at CPC, that they will choose life for their baby.


#6. Thank before you bank.

Thank fast and frequently. Treat each donation as the start of a beautiful friendship, but PLEASE, do not use the thank you as a time to ask for more money! Develop a plan for donor care. Nurturing your donors throughout the year through multiple touches and communication streams is so important. Be donor-centric. Show them how important they are to your mission. Say “you” a lot (ex. because of you, 25 fatherless youth were provided mentors).


Developing an annual funding plan may feel overwhelming, but we are here to help.

Join us for our next Fundraising Academy. Together, we will work on your funding plan and several other critical documents to help your ministry become fully funded!


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