Strong budgets start with realistic fundraising goals

January 6, 2014

Strong budgets start with realistic fundraising goals

As 2014 gets underway, nonprofits should lay out a plan for meeting and exceeding fundraising goals in the next 12 months. Achieving goals does not always mean breaking all time records. Instead, nonprofits should build a budget and forecast reasonable fundraising goals that won't leave the organizations scrambling for money before the year is over.

While it's important to adopt a successful attitude, fundraising goals should be realistic so that the company has a clear picture of how it can operate. According to The Daily News in Memphis, there are some techniques that can help organizations establish fundraising goals:

  • A team commitment: Make sure everyone involved in the budget planning process understands and agrees on the current financial situation. If there is disagreement on how much the organization can make, listen to all parties and try and determine a realistic, but conservative amount to start with.
  • Commitment to the goal: Everyone involved with setting goals should understand the work required to reach them. That should include personal giving from board members as well as their participation in raising funds from others.
  • Funds for fundraising: Keep in mind that fundraising itself is not free. In addition to realistic goals, make sure a budget has money set aside that will be used to achieve the agreed upon goals. While there are many new cost-effective ways to raise money, such as Facebook and sources of crowdfunding, the meat will come traditional fundraising methods.

An accurate budget depends on fundraising goals set by members who understand how much money is available and how to get it. It's OK to plan for a banner year, but if everyone plans on putting in the extra time to achieve the new numbers.


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Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

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Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

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Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

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