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Are You Ready for Fall Fundraising?


Are You Ready for Fall Fundraising?

A well-executed fall fundraising season can raise a lot of money for your cause. The key is strategic planning. This article breaks down the fall fundraising planning process into one straightforward checklist. Learn how to strategize your nonprofit’s giving season to perfection. 


Fall Fundraising. . . Where Do We Even Begin?

If you haven’t started planning for fall fundraising yet, have no fear! It’s not too late. Here are our top five recommendations.


1. Set Your Goals

What’s your financial goal for fall fundraising? Typically, this is already established in your budget. If not, simply go back to what you raised this time last year and add 10% to the bottom line.


Now, add additional fund development goals. Some of these may be non-monetary and more big-picture. Remember to think outside the box and consider “small wins” for your organization:

  • # of donors

  • # of new donors

  • # of major donors

  • # of monthly donors

  • % of board giving

  • % of staff or alumni giving

  • # of events

  • # of sponsors

  • # of corporate gifts

  • # volunteers

  • # of email subscribers

  • # of social media followers

  • Increase local awareness of our cause 

  • Enhance our donor experience this holiday season 

  • Create a cohesive year-end appeal campaign theme

  • Execute our first live stream fundraising event

  • Try Text-to-Give and QR codes for the first time on Giving Tuesday


2. Assess Your Resources

The two main resources your nonprofit needs to assess: budget and time. 


What budget is your team working with? Do you have any funds to invest in social media ads, handwritten thank-you cards, or holiday postcards? Consider what will yield the highest return on investment. 


What about time? How many paid and unpaid hands do you have to help with fall fundraising? Which projects is everyone responsible for? Schedule a 1-hour fall fundraising planning meeting and ask your team about their capacity and special interests.


3. Establish a Timeline

You’ve got your goals, budget, and team set up. Now, it’s time to establish a timeline. Try creating a special Google calendar for “fall fundraising” marking special events and deadlines. You can even add in project goals (e.g., reach 10% of Giving Tuesday goal by this date”). 


4. Create Sustainable Processes

What is your organization’s fall fundraising workflow? Create checkpoints and check-ins so that your team stays on target for achieving success. For example, create a weekly 30-min meeting through the end of December, where you assess progress, answer questions, and brainstorm solutions together. Don’t forget to celebrate success along the way to keep your team’s momentum going strong! 


5. Set Up the Right Tech

It’s possible to have the right strategy but the wrong tech in place. Ensure that your team has all of the right softwares in place to be as effective as possible this fall. Here are some examples:

  • Project Management: Monday (discounted for nonprofits), Trello (free), and Asana (free)

  • Internal Communication: Slack (free), Telegram (free), Zoom (free)

  • Graphic Design: Canva (free for nonprofits)

  • Online Fundraising: ZGIVE (free til January 2021!)

Your Fall Fundraising Checklist

Let’s recap: