A Smarter Way to Fundraise: Explore Classy’s Fundraising Intelligence Suite

Make the Most of a Year-Round Fundraising Calendar

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Published January 29, 2015 Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Question: What’s on your fundraising calendar for the upcoming year?

If you haven’t already done so, take time now to map out the key campaigns and events you have planned. This helps track your nonprofit’s goals and fundraising progress.

Planning ahead allows nonprofit professionals to:

• Efficiently allocate time
• Take advantage of seasonal events
• Identify fundraising lulls
• Create content in support of upcoming events
• Effectively communicate internally with staff and externally with supporters

To make your planning process a little less daunting, we put together a customizable year-round fundraising calendar. Here’s a quick look at how it will help you map out your fundraising initiatives:

Step 1:

Make a list of all of your key events, campaigns, communications, and other important dates throughout the year.

Why this is important: It’s tempting to work campaign-by-campaign or even week-by-week as a campaign is running. This creates two very serious problems. First, ad hoc campaigning really doesn’t leave much room to learn about what is actually working for your organization. Second, this shortsightedness makes it very difficult to create a consistent, infectious message, voice and brand identity that will keep donors coming back to your organization.

When you map out all the important events and milestones for the year, you’ll be better prepared to build upon previous goals, run last-minute campaigns for those urgent situations and generally set yourself up for growth.

Step 2:

Create a snapshot for the year by inputting the above into your personal fundraising calendar.

Why this is important: While it’s great to simply write everything down and keep yourself organized, building cross-functional teams is imperative to running successful campaigns. Create a year-round fundraising calendar to keep everyone on the same page and strengthen communication between teams. When your organization’s teams are in sync, you’ll execute smarter and more effectively.

Once you complete your fundraising calendar make sure to share your plans for the coming year with your entire staff and board members.

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