Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ideas that Work - Plan before you start

idea icon "Begin with the end in mind." – Dale Carnegie
An appropriate exercise at this time of year is planning. This is something that is particularly important as FY2010 approaches. For the first time really, each Learning Center’s future success depends on your board’s ability to secure adequate funding.
This may lead you to see the task as daunting, the goal too high. As well, you may be concerned as to where the funds will come from. In both cases a plan really helps.
First, once you break the financial picture down, you may be surprised at how reasonable it can be. Second, by developing a fundraising budget and goals for each method, you can realistically create a plan and job assignments appropriately.
Start with what you already know
The first task is assess the funds that you likely will receive next year. Allocated Centers already start with $60,000 in their kitties. Then look at the monies you received by your work this year. Determine the likelihood you will receive these funds this year and discount the number as appropriate. This is a reasonable approximation of a starting point.
Now subtract your FY2010. This number is the net difference your fundraising must meet.
Decide on a fundraising mix
Ok, so let’s say you see about $80,000 as what you can count on. Your LC budget is $105,000. This leaves a balance of -$25,000. What now?
A solution is to use a mix of strategies to raise the money. First, consider if there are low-hanging fruits, people or entities that have supported you in the past, but may simply not have been asked recently. Second, are there donors who have given, but have not been asked to “step up” to a level within there abilities? Set goals for these tasks.
Now consider the events you are engaged in currently. Are they successful? Can you raise more by conducting a new event? Can you reasonably increase net proceeds from the events you have?
So let’s map this out:
Goal $125,000
Allocation $60,000
Historic support (discount)

  • Sponsor a child $10,000 (100%)
  • Grants $5,000 (50%)
  • Walk $5,000 (100%)
Net required $25,000

New/Increased Sources

  • Sponsor a Child $15,000
  • Grants $ 5,000
  • Walk increase $ 1,500
  • Wine Tasting $ 4,000
Net - $1,000
So, in this case, assuming the historic support appraisals are true, meeting the goal in 2010 requires as few as 3 new/increased child sponsorships, one or two new grants, a bit more effort in the Walk and a new event – a wine tasting. And you have 12 months to do it.
Is this achievable, I don’t know, but you have a good starting point to determine the prospects. Fill in the names of those you think can provide the extra funding. Be conservative. If you can see this is likely, then begin strategizing.
Next week, we’ll discuss prospect review.


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