Mentored Fundraising Assignment 1 Discussion Page
6-Month Mentored Nonprofit Fundraising Certificate Program

This week’s resources:
Class Home Page for Mentored Fundraising
Fundraising Assignment 1 Homework Instructions
Magee Example of Fundraising Assignment 1

Assignment 1. 1) Define your goals for online nonprofit support and 2) the type of new individual supporters you are looking for. Do you want supporters that give a donation, volunteer, subscribe? How many do you need to meet your goal? 3) Prioritize one goal to be used in this training program.

Online fundraising is extremely powerful—partially due to its ability to be highly specific. Over the next few months you will learn how to use SEO and marketing tools to target specific types of individuals looking for specific types of things.

So…. we might as well start off by being highly specific about our goals. For the purposes of this course, I don’t mean for you to organize a weekend board retreat to develop a new goal statement for your organization. Let’s take this from a more practical standpoint—using basic information that you already probably have at hand. These could be examples (for simplicity) for an organization doing $100k a year:

  • Donations: 80% of your funding comes from grants—and you’re hoping to get 20% ($20k) from online donations. You’re already getting $10,000 from your existing online donor base. Since average online donations are $100 you will need 100 new donors this year. You should also decide whether the donors can be from a national/international audience, or due to context, highly specific to your metropolitan area.
  • Volunteers: You run a local food bank and are looking for eight rotating volunteers to each work once a month (2 volunteers per week x 4 weeks = 8). Or, your organization does a consciousness-raising fall cleanup of the city park and you’re looking for 50 high school students for a morning cleanup in October.
  • Mailing list: You have a newsletter mailing list of 3,000 subscribers and you would like to double that over three years. That would mean adding 1,000 new subscribers per year. And although your mailing list has been good to you over the past few years, you would like to see the new subscribers be more a more targeted group that is supportive of your programs.

So in this relatively simple list, you will have identified specific themes, dollars and numbers, locations, and timelines.

Finally, in this assignment, you’re going to prioritize one of these goals as being the goal to work on for a campaign in this course.

We’re going to focus on only one campaign in order to keep things simple. And as I will continually bring up during the course, starting off simply will give you a better learning experience and will lead to better, more effective initial campaigns and your ability to improve upon them over time. Having learned how to do this with one campaign will let you replicate the strategies that you learned for additional, new campaigns in the future.

Getting started.
So let’s get going. Here’s what we’re going to do in Assignment 1.

The First Step in Assignment 1:
First: Get specific about your goals for online fundraising. Do you want supporters that are donors, volunteers, subscribers, buyers? How many?

  • What are you hoping to achieve (brainstorm the different thematic areas that you are trying to increase or improve)?
  • Examples may include building your subscription list, driving people to your website, branding, donations, or a volunteer program.
  • Choose one priority from your list of goals (donations, volunteers—or—subscribers) in preparation for your first campaign.
  • How many? How much? Who? When? Where?

You might be able to sit down and do this assignment in 30 minutes. On the other hand, you may feel compelled to interview a few people in your organization—or perhaps share your first draft with a colleague for feedback.

The Assignment One Homework Instructions will guide you through a simplified process. Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing your first assignment and I’ll see you next week in A2.

Copyright © Tim Magee