- Set a Clear Mission.
Although it is obvious that programs should have clearly stated missions, often non-profit organizations neglect this essential step and develop their proposals with the hope that people will be ready to donate and participate in events. However, a poorly stated mission can be one of the basic reasons of failure at the very beginning of your activities. If you want to attract more people, you need to be able to tell them what your vision is and how you plan to achieve it. In your proposal, explicitly express your mission that tells donators why they should make a donation. Do not try to move forward without a clearly stated mission.
- Identify Your Needs.
Besides the mission of your project, it is important to determine a problem to be addressed and how to address this problem. Then you will be able to identify your needs. Note that sometimes it is reasonable to take assistance of online consultants who will help you identify your needs, set the problem, and choose the best methods to address the problem.
- Set a Goal.
Usually there are two goals of fundraising, including Money and Recognition. You need to choose which goal to achieve and then in your plan, articulate that goal in measurable terms. For example, if your project is about money, make your goal specific with a total dollar amount; if it is about recognition, specify to what extent awareness is to be. Note that your goal is to be continually reviewed throughout the whole process of planning so you need to be able to refer back to this specific goal in order to make sure you are heading in the correct direction. Software will be best for tracking your goal.
- Estimate Available Resources.
Some people who just start implementing their ideas often do not realize what resources they actually have so they feel flustered. Do not make the same error, but remember that you have lots of resources at your disposal anyway. For example, money, time, your staff and your volunteer network are available resources. Even if you do not have enough money or your staff is not so loyal to your event planning ideas, do not panic but start thinking broadly. You can try to establish relationships with potential donators through using free web resources (e.g. social networks) or through the awareness of your existing brand.
- Define Scope.
Your project needs to have some scope which is the overall set of events to be organized and conducted. The scope may include a simple list with two parts. One part refers to events of the category "Must Have", the other one refers to events of the category "Nice to Have." Note that you should not try to include any events that you cannot afford or things that won't add any real value to your project. Your scope of activities should follow a set of strict rules and there should be no deviations.
- Set Budget and Date.
Time and money are the most critical resources which are closely interconnected. When you define a budget for your project, you need to make sure it is properly allocated in terms of time – this means that your budget can be timely filled with a required amount of money and there is no delay in obtaining funds before the actual start date of your event. Also, the budget should be defined in strict concordance with your needs and goals, and it should fit your mission and overall strategy.