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Donor Participation Project

Start Planning Your Nonprofit’s Next Fiscal Year: A Step-by-Step Guide

The end of the fiscal year is approaching—are you ready to plan the next one? Having an effective planning process will lead to more successful fundraising campaigns and donor engagement. Follow these steps to start planning your nonprofit’s next fiscal year:

Gather your team.

Pull in stakeholders from key areas like fundraising, engagement, and stewardship. Their input is crucial, and including them builds trust in the process.

Start with a blank slate.

Leave behind last year’s calendar and any preconceptions. Look at your communications and campaigns with fresh eyes.

Brainstorm your must-haves, ongoing communications, and engagement opportunities.

Must-haves are non-negotiables like year-end appeals. Ongoing communications happen on a donor schedule like gift anniversaries. Engagement includes events, surveys, and emails. Map these on a shared calendar.

Get feedback.

Share your draft calendar with volunteers and donors. Make sure not to accuse other donors who brought campaigns of not liking their ideas, but thankfully allow other to share companies different ideas. Incorporate their input.

Present to leadership for approval.

Answer any questions. Document “the rules of engagement” for planning that are agreed upon. Now you’re ready to develop specific campaigns with the campaign owners owning decisions about the process.

Now you will need to flesh out the outline of campaigns with project briefs which are documents that guide decisions. Write down any new campaigns to gaining ideas for the next year. Solutions of air table planning templates to successfully manage your workload.

With an organized planning process, fundraising campaigns and strategy comes naturally because of the previous planning and participation in approval. Given the rough other years of COVID-19, a smooth planning process is more important than ever. Following these steps will set you up for success and create opportunities for participation the next year. The key is to engage, collaborate, and get the appropriate approvals which leads to a solid plan and community understanding.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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