Budgeting for fundraising should include estimating both contributed revenue and fundraising costs in order to arrive at projected net contributed revenue. Follow the steps below to build a successful fundraising budget for your organization.
Quantify fundraising performance data from the past three years, eliminating outliers (one-of-a-kind transactions not likely to be repeated):
Net Contributed Revenue = Total Contributions less Total fundraising expense
Retained Gift Dollars = Dollar value of contributions from last year’s donors
Reactivated Gift Dollars = Dollar value of contributions from prior donors who did not give last year
New Gift Dollars = Dollar value of contributions from first time donors
Analyze qualitative information:
From which sources, e.g. individual donors, foundations, corporations, is there potential for realistic growth in the year ahead? New donors? Increased giving from past donors?
What is the basis for arriving at the estimated potential?
What is the estimated dollar value of that growth potential?
What additional fundraising costs will be incurred in order to realize that potential?
Synthesize past performance with potential:
Projected fundraising costs to arrive at
Projected net contributed revenue.
Include a budget narrative documenting the data and the reasons behind your projections.
Integrate with the larger organization:
Synchronize fundraising budget and goals with the organization’s annual budget