Planning is an essential part of successful fundraising. Creating a funding strategy is a practical way to help your organisation plan its future funding activities. The strategy should be closely linked to your business plan as the funding strategy will identify how you will get the resources to carry out the work of the business plan. Funding strategies will also help you coordinate your fundraising effort so that the most appropriate sources of funding are applied to your different activities.
There are no hard and fast rules, but the following headings cover the range of subjects that your strategy should include:
Introduction - to include the purpose of the plan and summaries your current aims and objectives.
Case for support - Identify your unique selling point and demonstate why your work should be supported and what needs are you meeting?
Financial Overview - give a review of the current and historical financial situation including details of where current and previous funding comes from. This is particularly useful to see how dependent you are on different funding sources.
Future financial requirements - Identify what activities you are wanting to carry out and the resources needed to do this. Identify any funding already secured or applied for.
Funding opportunities - Identify all the funding options open to your organisation and assess them in terms of time and resources to develop, potential to generate income, how appropriate they are to your organisation, who could take them forward, what other benefits would the activity have (such as raising profile). Identify any barriers you are likely to encounter.
Resources - Relate funding opportunities to the activities you are undertaking. Which source of funding can be used for which activity. Some funding sources may be best suited to find 'core' activities others will be more suitable for project funding.
Timetable - Set a realistic timetable with milestones, but be careful not to do too much at once.
Monitoring and evaluation - Identify how the plan will be monitored (and by who) for progress and evaluated for effectiveness.