Operating without a fundraising plan can create an un-organized, un-planned fundraising operation that will ultimately lead to stress, headaches, and most importantly, financial ruin. Unfortunately, many non-profits, especially smaller charities, operate this way.

When someone has an idea for an event or a campaign, these organizations go for it without thinking of the unforeseen hiccups along the way. Eventually, when the bank account seems to be low, these non-profits exert much energy trying to find opportunities for cash to keep the doors open. Incorporating events into your fundraising plan helps ensure a more stable organization, which in the end, is much more effective.

There are four components of a fundraising plan that will help your non-profit succeed in accomplishing events:

The Goal

The best way to know where you have to start is know where you want to finish. The question your Goal has to answer is “what is your over all fundraising goal?” Backed with hard, well-thought-out numbers, the goal should be based on the needs of the organization. It’s important to make sure your goal can accommodate your desire for events. Your goal should give you a baseline for how many events you can realistically execute. In order to attain a comprehensive goal, you will need to think through questions like: How much money will your group need to raise in order to achieve your desired goal?

The Mission

The mission answers the question, “Why do you need this money for the goal?” Understanding your mission gives your organization a vision and identity. In many ways, the mission helps you find your target market for your donors. What you plan to do with the money you raise can help you understand who would be interested in helping your cause. When planning events, this understanding of your audience is indispensable. This knowledge helps you determine if you should host a large evening gala or a more relaxed silent auctioning event.


Tactics is where the rubber meets the road in understanding how to incorporate events into your fundraising plan. The Goal and Mission helps your organization understand the frame in which it must carry out its events. Some common tactics include: individual giving, asking major donors to make gifts to your organization; direct mail; telemarketing; and annual giving and multi-year giving campaign. Events, however, have been proven to be the most advantageous way to retain loyal donors and attract new prospects in a single night. Silent and live auctions, with priceless and exciting auction items, provide a cost-effective way to gain a large, single-time revenue stream, while giving your donors a fun, beneficial event.


Planning basic timelines for your upcoming events can seem inconsequential. However, failing to set timelines creates an organization that never seems to get things done. Setting deadlines and timelines will force you to think critically through your fundraising decisions, and give your organization an invaluable guidance.

Want to make your next fundraiser a successful and profitable experience? Contact Charity Fundraising today to learn more.