What Is a Fundraising Work Plan?

Let’s first talk about what fundraising is. Fundraising is the process of raising financial support or contribution voluntarily through the engagement and the involvement of individuals, the local community, businesses, government agencies, and other charitable foundations. The main purpose of fundraising is to raise a certain amount of financial contribution to support a charity, a cause, or a nonprofit organization. A work plan is a documented planning process with tasks usually assigned to an individual or a group in order to accomplish a certain objective or goal within a given time period. A Fundraising Work Plan documents the strategic plans within a given timeline to raise funds for a certain cause or charity.

Usually done through fundraising events, the fundraising work plan highlights each specific activity, or events, with the goal of an amount of money to be raised, and also assigns each activity to an individual or a group who will be in charge of the activity. Some examples of fundraising activity or events are auctioning, concerts, marathons, non-sport competitions, et cetera. Participants of these events would pay a registration fee that then goes into the collection of money which is raised by the fundraising event organizers.

What are the Benefits of having a Fundraising Work Plan?

Having an event such as fundraising means that all must come together to work on accomplishing the event’s goals. Everyone must be aligned and should have the specific capability of performing the assigned task. Just like a puzzle, every piece should come exactly at the right spot in order to get the big picture. Of course, coming together and working off of a plan has certainly lots of benefits it can offer to the individual member, or to the whole group itself. All for one, one for all, as the saying goes. Read on to find out more what are the benefits of a fundraising work plan.

Planning Allows Effective Time Management: An effective fundraising work plan provides good time management. Since the flow of a work plan is designed to show which task is assigned to whom based on a given time period, the planning process and implementation then becomes systematized and organized. Time management means the act of using, or managing, a person’s time productively and effectively. Everyone involved in the fundraising process knows when is the deadline to reach the needed sum of money. For the disabled children’s party, the deadline is the date of the party itself, and everyone should know that they need to come up with the funds before the party since the funds will be used to set up the event. Out of the good time management benefit comes the instilling of the characteristics of discipline and focus on the part of the organizers. In other words, time management actually helped in preventing procrastination. More work in less time, as they say.Planning Provides Inspiration, Motivation and Commitment:  Perhaps the best part of doing a fundraising event is being inspired and motivated that what you are doing is for a worthy cause. Planning to fundraise plays on people’s empathy and passion. In our example of raising funds for the local community’s disabled children event party. People are willing to do their part to help alleviate whatever affliction those kids have by setting up a party for them. Being able to see a smile or to hear laughter from those kids is enough to turn on the wheels of motivation. Having an effective fundraising work plan does that. People get committed and aligned in reaching the desired fund. It’s that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment afterwards that everyone is looking forward to after they’ve reached that fundraising goal.Planning Improves Resources Allocation: One of the challenges faced by any event organizers is the availability of resources. Resources could be in the form of money to help set up the fundraising events. Resources could also be in the form of manpower, or available people to work on implementing and monitoring the activities. But then, resources could also mean the tools and equipment needed for the events. That’s why one of the benefits of having an effective fundraising work plan is that the fundraising organizers can be able to identify and plan out in advance what are the resources needed, where they could find them, or how they will be provided. For example, one of the fundraising ideas for the disabled children’s party is to do a donation drive, via donation letters, through house to house solicitation. Now, it doesn’t take that much to approach someone’s doorsteps and to solicit money, except to have a certain level of confidence and sincerity. But what are the resources needed to do the house to house solicitation drive? A large number of manpower is needed in this case. Having more people to go around and ask for solicitation could expedite the fundraising process.Planning Sets a Call to Action:  Not only does effective planning instill inspiration, motivation and commitment, it also sets the urgency in needing to accomplish the goal, or a call to action. A fundraising work plan sets out a goal or the reason why there is a need to raise funds. In our given example, there is a need to raise funds to be spent for the disabled children’s party. The call to action is the money needed for the children’s party. Since a timetable is given as to when the children’s party will be held, there is that weight of urgency of when the funds must be available in time for the children’s party. Because of this, the work plan keeps everyone on their toes, making sure that everyone involved in the fundraising is doing what they’re assigned to do. In fact, part of the benefit of having a work plan call to action is that everyone gets focused and coordinated.

Steps on Creating a Fundraising Work Plan

Knowing the benefits of working on fundraising events should keep you inspired and motivated to do an event. Next comes the nitty gritty of creating a fundraising work plan. Like all kinds of work plans, a fundraising work plan essentially serves as a roadmap or a guide to the fundraising event organizers. It identifies the objectives, strategies and deadline for achieving the goal. Since it’s a documentation of the planning process for fundraising, everyone is kept aligned and coordinated with the what to dos and the how tos. Below are the common steps used in creating a fundraising work plan.

  • Step 1: Write Down the Goal or the Objective

    You can start by creating a table or chart-like format guide. On top of your table, the very top part should be the objective or the goal that needs to be clearly written. Similar to a Mission Statement, for a fundraising goal, write down what is the purpose of doing the fundraising activities. Most significantly, since this is a fundraising goal, write down as much as possible the specific amount of money that you desired to raise. The purpose of writing down the objective in the top part is to stimulate action, to help guide and direct all energy and focus on what needs to be done. In the disabled children’s party example, a sample objective statement could be: “To be able to come up with the resources needed and the funds totaling to $5,000 for the benefit and to be used for the local community’s disabled children’s party scheduled on December 5th, 2021.”

  • Step 2: Identify the Strategies or Fundraising Activities

    Filling up the table, write down on the first column the strategies, or fundraising activities, to generate the funds. We have used the house to house solicitation drive as an example. Analyze if the solicitation strategy is enough to raise the funds or not. If not, then you need more fundraising Strategic Plan activities. Another activity is to host a local community marathon. Look for a sponsor, or an Event Sponsorship, who can provide the prize for the marathon event. The prize could be in the form of cash or item. Determine the registration fee amount that every marathon participant needs to pay to join the event. The registration fees that you collected will be added to the total amount of cash for the fundraising goal. Another example of a fundraising Activity Plan is doing a carwash drive or a bake sale. Proceeds from doing the carwash or the bake sale all goes into the pot money for the fundraising goal.

  • Step 3: Listing Down Persons In Charge

    Right next to the strategies or fundraising activities column is the name of the individual or groups or persons in charge for the activities. They are tasked with the implementation and monitoring of those activities. They are required to provide constant updates and feedback to the head of the event, as well as they are responsible for the staff, or even the volunteers, that will be helping out in the fundraising activities. These individuals should have the necessary skills and capabilities related to executing the activities, in example, Community Projects. For example, when doing a bake sale, the individual in charge of the bake sale should have a strong knowledge of the local community where the bake sale will be held. That person needs to be familiar with the location, if it’s a good place or not to set up a bake sale. Also, someone with a good connection with the local community should do the trick. Meaning, knowing who are the who’s who in the community. Preferably, it should be someone who knows how to shake hands with local politicians in the area, or someone who’s on a first-name basis with most of the people in that locale. Also, it should be someone who is knowledgeable about getting permits and other requirements from the local government to set up the bake sale.

  • Step 4: Tagging a Timeline

    Next to the persons in charge column is the timeline. The timeline can be done in two separate columns; one for the start date, and one for the end date. The timeline is the period covered for the fundraising activities. This is the allotted period, and as much as possible should be strictly adhered to. The main purpose of the timeline is to maintain the tone of urgency of the whole purpose of the fundraising which, as an example, is the scheduled party date for the disabled children.

  • Step 5: Identifying Needed Resources

    The next column is for the resources, such as manpower, equipment or tools, needed in implementing the fundraising activities. In the example of a bake sale, usual resources needed are, of course, the cakes, cookies and pastries, or who will be the ones to voluntarily bake and donate these, or the sponsor for the cakes to be sold. Another resource for this activity are the assigned individuals who will be looking after the bake sale. The bake sale stand or stall and other equipment needed for the installation of the bake sale is another resource. Also, the registration and permits needed to set up the bake sale are another set of resources.

  • Step 6: Results Monitoring

    The last step, or the last column needed when coming up with a fundraising work plan is allotted for the results monitoring. This is the part where you put the result of the fundraising activities, or mainly the amount of money that was generated as a result of those activities. The purpose of this is to monitor how near or far you are in reaching the fund goal for, in this example, the disabled children’s party. This will allow you to make some necessary changes in your next set of activities, if you see that there is a need to do more aggressive fundraising activities, or if you can start to slow it down seeing that you’re almost near in reaching the goal.


What are the other examples of fundraising activities?

Aside from the usual solicitation and sales drives, you can also do some marketing campaigns. Example of which is through digital marketing, such as email marketing, social media marketing, newsletter marketing, or blog posts marketing. Another activity is through auctioning, where volunteers or sponsors would put up their personal items to be sold at an auction. Proceeds from the sale of the items goes to the collected amount for the fundraising goal.

Is Crowdfunding a form of fundraising?

Yes. Crowdfunding is considered as a form of fundraising, wherein it comes up with funds for a particular cause or project through donations coming from lots of people. These are usually donations given in small amounts, but eventually accumulates as more and more people start to donate. Crowdfunding is often done through social media, thereby making it easy when it comes to reaching more people or supporters.

What are the usual qualities or characteristics of a person needed to join or organize a fundraising event?

Someone who has passion tops the list of characteristics. It is important for a person to be passionate about the fundraising project, to have the right heart or motivations in place, or else the whole fundraising structure will fall due to its lackluster energy. Another important characteristic is the knowledge and skill in doing events, particularly fundraising events. Confidence and patience are another two important characteristics. The right amount of confidence is needed when approaching people to ask for donations, and the right amount of patience as well because fundraising events take time before the realization of their goals.

Doing fundraising events should not be an intimidating task. Yes, it can be challenging, but nevertheless, still, a worthwhile challenge. Being able to help other people, fund a charitable cause, contribute to the betterment of the unfortunate should be enough to motivate and inspire you to keep on moving forward. Having the right goal, the right strategies, and the right timeline in place would certainly make your fundraising activities successful. Also, with the help of a good and effective fundraising work plan, reaching that goal will be a cinch. Download our fundraising work plan template now, and see how easy it is to plan and work your way through towards achieving your fundraising goal!