A funding strategy should be a document that you can use to plan and develop your organisations fundraising. It should briefly review the current situation; identify strengths and weaknesses that you can develop or address and produce time limited actions and indicators to measure progress.
A funding strategy does not and should not need to be large or complex document. That is not to say it should be rushed or done too quickly. It will need careful thought and planning. The use of outside help is useful as it will provide a fresh look at the organisation and new ideas and perspective.
There is really no right / wrong way to produce the strategy as long as it works for you. Just be careful not to spent too much time reflecting on the past and look to what you can achieve in the future.
Increasingly funders will ask what your organisations funding strategy is; either for a project or the organisation. Being able to clearly set out a plan of income sources, timescales etc demonstrates that you have really thought about what you are doing and
Recent strategies I have developed have included the following sections:
Summary of organisations aims and objectives – essential to ensure they are still relevant and that future work can relate to them
Review existing funding – Where is money coming from, how secure is it, where are there gaps
SWOT analysis – focusing on the funding; what has worked, not worked, what new opportunities are available to you, what limitations do you face…
Action points – these should address the findings in the SWOT analysis, and include a measure of success
Funders – identify appropriate funding sources
Timeline – What will be done when
Some points to consider in you funding strategy:
- Clearly identify what activities you want to achieve and how much they will cost
- Identify how your organisation will fund its future activities; donations trusts, income generation etc
- Any regulation or legislation and best practise that you must adide by
- Identify what new funding opportunities you are going to develop and how
- Include a timescale (when you need the money and how long it will take to raise) and responsibilities for your fundraising
- How you will track your progress
- How and when you will evaluate to learn from your actions
- develop other areas of the organisation that effect fundraising, including communication, publicity and finance
Remember, the strategy needs to be a practical document that sits alongside your business plan, to show how the resources will be found to deliver the work you want to do. See our new guide
Tools, templates and reading
Funding Eye has put together the following resources and links to additional reading that should help you further with your funding strategy development.
- NEW Funding strategy content – guide to writing your strategy
- Funding Eye: Funding strategy spreadsheet – An excel spreadsheet of tables to help you gather data to produce your funding strategy
- ACEVO: Full Cost Recovery Toolkit – The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations offers a free kit to help you understand your organisation’s full costs and ensure you remain sustainable