Difference between revisions of "Annual Fundraising Plan"

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<strong><big>Welcome to the Fundraiser Wiki!</big></strong>
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{{Planning}}
You need to raise money! You've come to the right place.
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An Annual Fundraising Plan contains the all of an organization's fundraising activities in a given year. Also known as the Annual Fund Drive, it enables a fundraising team to see a birdseye view of the year's fundraising programs. The Annual Fund Drive is for the non-profit what an [[Annual Stewardship Campaign]] is for a Church.
  
There are lots of ways to raise money. You just need to find the ones that are best suited to your skills and resources and put them to work.
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== Sowing and reaping ==
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An annual fundraising plan focuses on three primary activities. [[Donor Acquisition|Donor acquisition]], [[Donor Cultivation|donor cultivation]], and [[Donor Reactivation|donor reactivation]].
  
The Fundraiser wiki will help you to find the kind of fundraising program that fits you just right.
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=== 1. [[Donor Acquisition]] ===
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Every organizations needs new donors. Without new donors, your donor file will slowly dwindle through [[Donor Attrition|donor attrition]] until you decide to get serious about donor acquisition or close your doors forever. The donor acquisition portion focuses on presenting your story, the compelling need that only your organization can meet, to new people. Your acquisition efforts will likely cost more than what it brings in, but that’s ok. You’ll make up the difference when you begin to cultivate those new donors.
  
== Site Contents ==
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=== 2. [[Donor Cultivation]] ===
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Once someone has made a donation, they need to be asked to give again. Your annual fund drive will employ a series of different [[Donor Cultivation|cultivation]] techniques that will present the need anew to people who have supported you in the past. Your donor cultivation might include [[Direct Mail|direct mail]], [[Email Fundraising|email]], [[Phone Fundraising|phone calls]], [[Events|events]], [[Team Fundraising|peer-to-peer fundraising]], or other strategies. The main point of these cultivation strategies is to reconnect with your donors and ask them to give again. Good donor cultivation strategies result in strong [[Donor Retention|donor retention]], which helps to reduce donor attrition.
  
The Fundraiser Wiki contains a growing body of fundraising information, case studies, and best practices. For your convenience, they are grouped into the categories that you see below.
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=== 3. [[Donor Reactivation]] ===
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If someone stops giving to your organization for a period of time (say two years) they become a lapsed donor. Donor reactivation strategies seek to reconnect with lapsed donors and rekindle the spark that made them donate in the first place. You might use a lot of the same techniques as donor cultivation, but your focus will be different.
  
== Non-Profit Fundraising ==
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You will need to acknowledge that they haven’t given in a while, and perhaps it’s a good time to ask ‘why not?’ Asking why donors stopped giving often gives us an opportunity to reconnect them with our mission and invite them to give again. Also, a person might have moved or had a change in financial circumstances that caused them to change their giving patterns. When you discover something like this, you can build a connection by inviting them to participate in other ways. A big thing is to reestablish the relationship with the lapsed donor and invite them to take part in your organization again.
  
'''[[Annual Fundraising Plan]]''' - Your Annual Fundraising Plan will help you to coordinate all of your fundraising activities, including those focused on [[Donor Acquisition|donor acquisition]], [[Donor Cultivation|donor cultivation]], and [[Donor Retention|donor retention]].
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== Build your annual fundraising plan. ==
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Raising enough money to keep the organization running is an essential big job, so it’s important that your plan is big enough (or small enough) to fit your organization. This means that you will need to look at what resources you have and decide what strategies you’ll be able to integrate into your plan. Pay close attention to the cost effectiveness of your fundraising strategies. It might sound like a good idea to do a different fundraising event every month. In reality, event fundraising has a much lower return on your time and money than doing direct mail or e-mail fundraising.
  
'''[[Charitable Enterprises]]''' - Bake sales, rosary sales, pancake suppers, raffles, silent auction… any method that uses the profit from selling something to raise money is a charitable enterprise. Essentially, you run a little business and putting the profit to charitable use. A key weakness of this type of fundraising is that you focus is on selling a good or service rather than selling your mission.
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Start by looking at your three core audiences: new donors, current donors, and former donors. Do you have a strategy to reach each of these groups? Do you have a way to track their responses? What strategies have worked in the past, and where are opportunities to try something new? Is your list of current donors growing, or is it shrinking?
  
'''[[Corporate Giving]]''' - Many companies have ‘community relations’ departments that oversee giving in the community. They follow many different models, from [[Matching Gifts|matching gifts]] and [[Grant Writing|grant opportunities]] to [[Employee Giving |employee giving]] drives and [[Corporate Sponsorship|sponsorships]].
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=== Build your solicitation calendar ===
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The Annual Fundraising Calendar provides an overview of all of the different styles of fundraising you will be using each month. This is a useful format because it enables you to see opportunities that you might have missed otherwise. Look at the two samples below.
  
'''[[Direct Mail]]''' - A direct mail campaign uses the mail to describe a need and requests donations. It is very popular because it is relatively cheap and performs well.
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[[File:Annual Fund Calendar Small.png|full]]
  
'''[[Email Fundraising]]''' - Email fundraising looks a lot like direct mail, except that it uses email rather than paper mail. It doesn’t tend to raise as much money as Direct Mail because people are more likely to delete their email than throw out a mail piece. Email fundraising is less expensive than direct mail, so it will continue to grow in popularity.
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This plan is a very simple one for an organization that focuses on direct mail fundraising. It separates mailings that are trying to acquire new donors, cultivate existing donors, and reactivate lapsed donors. The organization does fewer acquisition mailings because they tend to cost money rather than make money up front. Note that it includes sending out thank you notes as an ongoing cultivation mailing.
  
'''[[Events]]''' - Fundraising events might be a dinner, run, walk, [[Golf Tournament|golf tournament]], or something totally new. They raise money by charging entry fees, selling auction items, team fundraising, getting sponsorships, etc. Events take a lot of time and energy to plan. Therefore, they tend to have a lower profit margin when compared with other fundraising types.
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[[File:Annual Fund Calendar.png]]
  
'''[[Food Drive]]''' - A food drive brings in food for a ministry and it can also help gather funds as well. Food and fund drives come in many flavors and can be effective for ministries of all sizes.
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This plan is for a much larger organization that runs an integrated annual campaign. You see that it uses everything from mass media approaches like radiothons and billboards to personal major gift solicitations. This organization has either multiple fundraising staff or very dedicated volunteers to be able to make all of these different fundraising programs possible.
  
'''[[Grant Writing]]''' - In the US, private and corporate foundations are organizations that exist to give away money. They get special tax benefits for doing so. They give based through process of written requests for funding. Grant funders tend to be more sophisticated than individual donors. Your grant application will explain how you will use the grant funding will meet a need in the community. Churches with an attached parochial school or Cathedral are more likely to be eligible for these kinds of funding opportunities.
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Each of these plans can be expanded to include a narrative that explains what activities each row refers to and the person responsible for those parts of the plan. For example, your fundraising grid might be followed by language like this:
  
'''[[Major Gifts]]''' - Major Gifts fundraising focuses on getting large one-time or multi-year gifts from individuals. It is one of the most rewarding types of fundraising in terms of monetary impact and relationship building. Small churches and ministries frequently miss out on major gift opportunities.
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* The direct mail acquisition will consist of two mailings to rented lists and focus on our children’s programs. Bill is responsible for writing the letter and researching the list. Mary will handle printing and mailing.
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* The bulletin acquisition campaign will run weekly ads in the bulletin suggesting that parishioners start making their monthly gifts through recurring [[Online Fundraising|online gifts]]. Peter will be responsible for changing the ad to reflect the liturgical season and getting the information to the bulletin printers.
  
'''[[Online Fundraising]]''' - At its most basic, raising money online only requires a donate button somewhere on your website. Strategies can get more sophisticated as you begin to use social media and email to request funding.
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Don’t let the number of activities on this larger plan intimidate you. If you’re a small food pantry at a local church, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever run a billboard campaign. But you might run an ad in your church bulletin, and you’ll definitely want to send thank you notes. Food drives could be an annual or even a monthly occurrence. The main thing is to make a plan that fits your needs and your resources. A plan that’s too big will sit on a shelf and collect dust. A plan that’s just right will stretch you just enough to help you grow, but still be manageable.
  
'''[[Phone Fundraising]]''' - Phone based campaigns rely on volunteers or professionals to call current and former donors to request donations. They take lots of energy, but they provide a personal contact with many donors in a short time.
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=== Annual Fundraising Duties and Objectives ===
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Accountability is important, especially in larger organizations. You can set expectations with your staff and track their performance with the following type of plan. It breaks down your fundraising plan by fundraising type, staff responsibility, and funding targets.
  
'''[[Planned Giving]]''' - Planned gifts donate money, real estate, or other assets through a person’s estate plan or will. These gifts take years to cultivate, but are the biggest gifts that a church or ministry will ever get. Having a plan and a strategy to cultivate planned gifts is key!
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[[File:Simple Fundraising Plan.png|800px]]
  
'''[[Team Fundraising]]''' - Team based fundraising, or peer-to-peer fundraising, uses volunteers who tap into their networks of friends to fundraise for your organization. This style of fundraising is often connected with online fundraisers as well as events like walks or golf tournaments.
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This type of plan allows you to assign activities and goals to the fundraising staff who are responsible. You see that this plan doesn’t track every activity throughout the year. Instead, it gives you an overview of the different kinds of fundraising that will be taking place with specific information about each program. The different colors identify different categories of donors and sub-colors indicate when more than one type of approach will be used.
  
== Church Fundraising ==
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[https://thealmoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/The-Almoner-Strategy.xlsx Click to download this Simple Annual Fundraising Plan in Excel format.]
  
'''[[Offertory]]''' - The offertory is the primary fundraising tool in many, if not most, churches. At its simplest, this is the basket that goes around at Mass. Many churches are moving their offertory online by enabling members to make monthly gifts. Others are adding kiosks that take credit cards to take gifts from members who rarely carry cash.
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This simple fundraising plan can be adapted to keep your fundraising programs organized.This simple fundraising plan can be adapted to keep your fundraising programs organized. This Simple Fundraising Plan includes goals like financial and soft targets, as well as timing and key responsibilities.
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So, for instance, you’ll be soliciting individual gifts through several different programs that include a board solicitation, direct mail, major gifts, online giving, etc. All the gifts come from individuals, but are cultivated in different ways.
  
'''[[Personal Ministry Fundraising]]''' - Personal ministry fundraising helps someone to raise money for a particular mission or ministry. It focuses on direct asks to friends, families, and associates who share a passion for the mission. This type of fundraising is great for mission related programs, but is also good for any new non-profit.
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===Annual Deadline Calendar===
  
'''[[Stewardship]]''' - An annual stewardship campaign is a big push to get members to give their ‘Time, Talent, and Treasure’. Months of planning can be involved, leading to a month-long focus on stewardship commitments.
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Organizing your fundraising a year round job if you’re doing it right, and good events take 9-12 months to plan. It can be helpful to have a rolling calendar of your major fundraising pushes. Put the major deadlines that require the work of more than one of the staff or volunteers in the organization.
  
== Building a Community of Fundraisers ==
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This following example plan shows the monthly preparations needed for a parish stewardship renewal campaign. You can see that it gives you deadlines for major accomplishments in order to be ready for the actual stewardship appeal at the end of the year. Having a calendar in this format can help you to stay on track with your activities so that you are able to handle any complications or problems (which WILL happen) peacefully.
The Fundraiser Wiki seeks to become the best fundraising resource on the web. This will only happen with YOUR help. The Fundraiser Wiki will build a growing body of best practices, stories from the field, sample materials, expert books, etc.
 
  
To reduce spam on the site, editing and creating pages has been restricted to users who have created accounts with verified email addresses. This will help to prevent abuse and keep the quality of the content high.
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* March 15th – Meet with stewardship team – pick theme
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* March – May – Data analysis and materials preparation
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* July 10th – Final Material and Data finalized
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* August 1 – Stewardship brochure mailed to Parishioners
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* August 7 – Ministry Fair
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* August 14 – Testimony Sunday
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* August 21 – Commitment Sunday
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* August 28 – Follow up letter sent
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* September 5 – Final ask mailed
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* September 20 – Stewardship totals announce – Parish Celebration
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* September 28 – Wrap up meeting, recommendation for next year
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You can also create an annual schedule for each one of your major events/fundraising pushes that stands alone so staff and volunteers working on the program don’t get confused by seeing deadlines for other fundraising programs. This kind of schedule of deadlines is invaluable for coordinating the activities of volunteers.
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== Accountability is the key! ==
 +
Each of these three types of Annual Fundraising plans have their own strengths and provide a certain kind of valuable information. You should be able to plan your year and then look back at the end of each month and see that you have accomplished what you have planned. If you have not done what you were supposed to do, your monthly accountability check-in will give you an opportunity to change plans or make adjustments.
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[[Category:Planning]]
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{{#seo:
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|title=Annual Fundraising Plan
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|title_mode=append
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|keywords=annual fundraising plan, fundraising planning, planning, annual fund drive
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|description=An Annual Fundraising Plan contains the all of an organization's fundraising activities in a given year. Also known as the Annual Fund Drive, it enables a fundraising team to see a birdseye view of the year's fundraising programs.
 +
|author=Nathan Krupa
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|image=
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|image_alt=Wiki Logo
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}}

Latest revision as of 19:27, 21 May 2021

Part of a series on
Fundraising Planning
Other Articles
1. Annual Fundraising Plan
2. Cost Effective Fundraising
3. Case Statement
4. External Budget
5. Donor Database
6. Annual Plan Books
7. Annual Plan Case Studies
8. Annual Plan Vendors

An Annual Fundraising Plan contains the all of an organization's fundraising activities in a given year. Also known as the Annual Fund Drive, it enables a fundraising team to see a birdseye view of the year's fundraising programs. The Annual Fund Drive is for the non-profit what an Annual Stewardship Campaign is for a Church.

Sowing and reaping

An annual fundraising plan focuses on three primary activities. Donor acquisition, donor cultivation, and donor reactivation.

1. Donor Acquisition

Every organizations needs new donors. Without new donors, your donor file will slowly dwindle through donor attrition until you decide to get serious about donor acquisition or close your doors forever. The donor acquisition portion focuses on presenting your story, the compelling need that only your organization can meet, to new people. Your acquisition efforts will likely cost more than what it brings in, but that’s ok. You’ll make up the difference when you begin to cultivate those new donors.

2. Donor Cultivation

Once someone has made a donation, they need to be asked to give again. Your annual fund drive will employ a series of different cultivation techniques that will present the need anew to people who have supported you in the past. Your donor cultivation might include direct mail, email, phone calls, events, peer-to-peer fundraising, or other strategies. The main point of these cultivation strategies is to reconnect with your donors and ask them to give again. Good donor cultivation strategies result in strong donor retention, which helps to reduce donor attrition.

3. Donor Reactivation

If someone stops giving to your organization for a period of time (say two years) they become a lapsed donor. Donor reactivation strategies seek to reconnect with lapsed donors and rekindle the spark that made them donate in the first place. You might use a lot of the same techniques as donor cultivation, but your focus will be different.

You will need to acknowledge that they haven’t given in a while, and perhaps it’s a good time to ask ‘why not?’ Asking why donors stopped giving often gives us an opportunity to reconnect them with our mission and invite them to give again. Also, a person might have moved or had a change in financial circumstances that caused them to change their giving patterns. When you discover something like this, you can build a connection by inviting them to participate in other ways. A big thing is to reestablish the relationship with the lapsed donor and invite them to take part in your organization again.

Build your annual fundraising plan.

Raising enough money to keep the organization running is an essential big job, so it’s important that your plan is big enough (or small enough) to fit your organization. This means that you will need to look at what resources you have and decide what strategies you’ll be able to integrate into your plan. Pay close attention to the cost effectiveness of your fundraising strategies. It might sound like a good idea to do a different fundraising event every month. In reality, event fundraising has a much lower return on your time and money than doing direct mail or e-mail fundraising.

Start by looking at your three core audiences: new donors, current donors, and former donors. Do you have a strategy to reach each of these groups? Do you have a way to track their responses? What strategies have worked in the past, and where are opportunities to try something new? Is your list of current donors growing, or is it shrinking?

Build your solicitation calendar

The Annual Fundraising Calendar provides an overview of all of the different styles of fundraising you will be using each month. This is a useful format because it enables you to see opportunities that you might have missed otherwise. Look at the two samples below.

full

This plan is a very simple one for an organization that focuses on direct mail fundraising. It separates mailings that are trying to acquire new donors, cultivate existing donors, and reactivate lapsed donors. The organization does fewer acquisition mailings because they tend to cost money rather than make money up front. Note that it includes sending out thank you notes as an ongoing cultivation mailing.

Annual Fund Calendar.png

This plan is for a much larger organization that runs an integrated annual campaign. You see that it uses everything from mass media approaches like radiothons and billboards to personal major gift solicitations. This organization has either multiple fundraising staff or very dedicated volunteers to be able to make all of these different fundraising programs possible.

Each of these plans can be expanded to include a narrative that explains what activities each row refers to and the person responsible for those parts of the plan. For example, your fundraising grid might be followed by language like this:

  • The direct mail acquisition will consist of two mailings to rented lists and focus on our children’s programs. Bill is responsible for writing the letter and researching the list. Mary will handle printing and mailing.
  • The bulletin acquisition campaign will run weekly ads in the bulletin suggesting that parishioners start making their monthly gifts through recurring online gifts. Peter will be responsible for changing the ad to reflect the liturgical season and getting the information to the bulletin printers.

Don’t let the number of activities on this larger plan intimidate you. If you’re a small food pantry at a local church, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever run a billboard campaign. But you might run an ad in your church bulletin, and you’ll definitely want to send thank you notes. Food drives could be an annual or even a monthly occurrence. The main thing is to make a plan that fits your needs and your resources. A plan that’s too big will sit on a shelf and collect dust. A plan that’s just right will stretch you just enough to help you grow, but still be manageable.

Annual Fundraising Duties and Objectives

Accountability is important, especially in larger organizations. You can set expectations with your staff and track their performance with the following type of plan. It breaks down your fundraising plan by fundraising type, staff responsibility, and funding targets.

Simple Fundraising Plan.png

This type of plan allows you to assign activities and goals to the fundraising staff who are responsible. You see that this plan doesn’t track every activity throughout the year. Instead, it gives you an overview of the different kinds of fundraising that will be taking place with specific information about each program. The different colors identify different categories of donors and sub-colors indicate when more than one type of approach will be used.

Click to download this Simple Annual Fundraising Plan in Excel format.

This simple fundraising plan can be adapted to keep your fundraising programs organized.This simple fundraising plan can be adapted to keep your fundraising programs organized. This Simple Fundraising Plan includes goals like financial and soft targets, as well as timing and key responsibilities. So, for instance, you’ll be soliciting individual gifts through several different programs that include a board solicitation, direct mail, major gifts, online giving, etc. All the gifts come from individuals, but are cultivated in different ways.

Annual Deadline Calendar

Organizing your fundraising a year round job if you’re doing it right, and good events take 9-12 months to plan. It can be helpful to have a rolling calendar of your major fundraising pushes. Put the major deadlines that require the work of more than one of the staff or volunteers in the organization.

This following example plan shows the monthly preparations needed for a parish stewardship renewal campaign. You can see that it gives you deadlines for major accomplishments in order to be ready for the actual stewardship appeal at the end of the year. Having a calendar in this format can help you to stay on track with your activities so that you are able to handle any complications or problems (which WILL happen) peacefully.

  • March 15th – Meet with stewardship team – pick theme
  • March – May – Data analysis and materials preparation
  • July 10th – Final Material and Data finalized
  • August 1 – Stewardship brochure mailed to Parishioners
  • August 7 – Ministry Fair
  • August 14 – Testimony Sunday
  • August 21 – Commitment Sunday
  • August 28 – Follow up letter sent
  • September 5 – Final ask mailed
  • September 20 – Stewardship totals announce – Parish Celebration
  • September 28 – Wrap up meeting, recommendation for next year

You can also create an annual schedule for each one of your major events/fundraising pushes that stands alone so staff and volunteers working on the program don’t get confused by seeing deadlines for other fundraising programs. This kind of schedule of deadlines is invaluable for coordinating the activities of volunteers.

Accountability is the key!

Each of these three types of Annual Fundraising plans have their own strengths and provide a certain kind of valuable information. You should be able to plan your year and then look back at the end of each month and see that you have accomplished what you have planned. If you have not done what you were supposed to do, your monthly accountability check-in will give you an opportunity to change plans or make adjustments.