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“Here Are Your Fundraising Goals for Next Year” (YIKES!!)

Have you ever heard those words and cringed? Probably more than once, right?

Do you feel like you’re expected to perform miracles? Of course, you do. After all, were you afforded the opportunity to provide your input? Of course you weren’t.

When the above is the case, it’s almost always more of a budget in line with the needs of the finance office rather that the fundraising or development office.

Two of the Most Common Ways NPO’s Set Their Goals (Don’t Do These 2 Things!):

  1. Set goals based on last year’s income – Wrong! Just because you raised I million dollars last year, doesn’t mean you should set a goal of 2 million for this year. Last year might have been the exception to the rule. If you received a few large one-time gifts, those can’t be counted on again and hoping or praying for a few more of the same is a bad strategy.

  2. If there’s a gap in your budget Do Not try to set your goals based on the gap. This is not a good spot to be in, that’s for sure. Instead of cutting expenses, the finance office or the board decides to increase the amount you need to raise—this is a prescription for failure, to say nothing of a year’s worth of sleepless nights.

Does Rescigno’s know of organizations that use one or both of these budget-setting methods? Sadly, yes.

What you need are goals that are in line with sound fundraising practice. This involves more than just dollars raised.

For example, a donor retention goal, both for 1st time and repeat donors must take into account the following:

  • the # of donors who give and give again year after year;

  • the # of donors who give a 2nd gift;

  • the # of donors who have increased/decreased their giving.

Successful donor retention is the key to a successful fundraising program. It really doesn’t matter if you’re acquiring new donors all over the place if they don’t give a 2nd gift.

Here’s How You Should Set Fundraising Goals

Last year’s fundraising income should be a part of your planning—but not the only factor you consider. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How many prospective donors are in the pipeline?

  2. How strongly do I feel that my current donors will give again and increase the size of their gifts?

  3. How strong is my donor pipeline?

Bottom line: you need a strategy to raise more than you did last year. “We need more money” is just that--a need.

Let us help you come up with the plan that fits your organization.

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