Making a Fundraising Plan


To ensure that your station gets the most value out of its fundraising efforts, it is important to develop a plan.

This begins with evaluating the station's current revenue raising activities before then selecting a strategy that will work best for that station. 

Evaluating current revenue sources

Before planning what you want to do next, it's important to look at what is currently happening in your station.

Evaluations can reveal issues such as:

  • too much time and resource being expended to obtain the revenue
  • problems with the reliability of the revenue source (it could be a one-off source of funding, dependant on the success of an application, or subject to variability in terms of how many people support the fundraising activity)
  • too many large expenses incurred in raising the revenue
  • the revenue raising activities are impacting adversely on other activities at the station (such as by taking staff and volunteers away from their normal tasks)
  • the revenue is not really benefiting the station or being used for what was intended

When embarking on a fundraising venture, consider the following questions:

  • Do you currently invest in training of volunteers or staff involved in revenue raising? Often the greatest limitation to the success of your fundraising will not be a lack of good ideas, but rather the lack of people to help. Think about how you recruit fundraisers, including volunteers, and how you build on their skills.
  • Do you evaluate the successes and mistakes you make in your fundraising activities?
  • Have you taken steps to build your ‘human capital’ along with your fundraising programs?
  • Have you tried to build support amongst other key sections of the organisation, such as the Board, other staff or volunteers so that they understand your revenue raising activities?

Selecting & recommending a fundraising campaign - Download our PDF icon Fundraising Planning Starter Guide.pdf.

Embarking on a large revenue raising campaign will require the support of the station management, including the Board, because it will impact on all levels of the station. Your job will be to convince them of the suitability and viability of the campaign.

There are a number of important things to outline when making your proposal, to show that you are across all the things that make up the fundraising campaign.

1. The Plan:
  • Why do you need to raise the revenue – i.e. for what purpose?
  • What do you intend to do?
  • How long will it take to organise the activity?
  • Who can help? Do you need to organise a fundraising committee?
  • How much do you expect to make?
  • Is it worth doing - will you bring in significantly more than you spend?
  • When do you need to raise the money by? Can you organise and complete the activity in time?
  • Do you need a fundraising licence?
2. Promotion:
  • How will you promote the campaign? Do you need any flyers, invitations or posters? How many? Who will design and print them?
  • Who will help with the promotion?
  • What other promotional activities will you need to develop?
3. Resources:
  • What are the costs involved in running the activity?
  • Do you have enough people who will be able to help?
  • How many volunteers or staff will need to be involved?
  • Who will handle and account for the money raised (and expended in the fundraising activity).
  • What equipment will you need?
  • Will you need to hire a venue? Will this be easy to do?
4. The Risks:
  • Are there any identifiable risks associated with your fundraising activity?
  • Will you need any licences or permissions for your activity?
  • Do you have adequate insurance?
5. The Outcomes:
  • You will need to be sure that your proposal has clear and measurable outcomes.
  • Are you assured of success in raising funds through this approach?
  • Will the benefits of this approach outweigh the amount of money, time and resources outlaid in planning and implementing this activity?

Having this clear understanding of your proposed fundraising activities will ensure you can appropriately brief all key stakeholders, including your board and volunteers, and gain the support you need to carry out a successful fundraising campaign.

Setting budgets

Any fundraising activity or campaign will have costs associated with it. These costs could include real ones, such as the cost of printing promotional brochures or hiring a venue for an event. But there may also be hidden costs in terms of the time and resources required to plan and manage a fundraising event, especially if you are using volunteers and staff who currently have other responsibilities and duties at the station.

Some of the costs may be fixed (such as the cost of a newspaper advertisement for a fundraising event) and some may be variable (such as the cost of grants writing consultants paid by the hour).

It is essential that you carefully consider all the possible costs involved. If necessary, get quotes from suppliers to make sure that you budget appropriately and accurately.

Depending on the kind of fundraising activity you’re engaged in, the income you receive may also be dependant on a range of external factors. For example, a fundraising event may depend on ticket sales, but attendance may be affected by factors such as wet weather or another conflicting community event. You need to take these into account when setting the budget.

When developing your budget, accurately estimate how much income your fundraising activities will most likely raise. Avoid the temptation of overestimating possible sales, subscriptions, donations or attendance.