Why You Need a Budget with Your Fundraising Plan

Mar 24, 2022

Before we launch into why you need a budget, I want to touch on the fundraising plan (cause why have a budget without a plan?). 

Last week, we talked about the value of a fundraising plan. The week before, we talked about why it’s important to plan at all

Here’s a bit of a recap... 

The plan is where it all happens. So, when you carve out time to start writing your plan, you start by asking some questions - this list is not exhaustive. 

  • What fundraising initiatives are you currently using that are working?  
  • What fundraising initiatives are you currently using that aren’t working and may need to be dropped or adjusted?  
  • Is there something you would like to incorporate for this coming year (like major gifts)?   
  • What about the budget? What’s the revenue split between each initiative? What will each cost to run?  

Oooooh, see that last question?  

Now we can talk budget.  

What’s the purpose of a budget?  

  1. To project how much you’ll raise
  2. What it will cost you to raise it 

Because the ultimate goal is that your revenue is higher than your expenses... 


Because the net revenue (revenue - expenses), can be invested in carrying out the mission of your organization.  

This is your main reason...the secret sauce, if you will. And it's so important, I’m going to say it again a bit differently.  

You need to accurately confirm how much your fundraising program contributes to your mission. And you know that with your net revenue.  

But your budget serves more purpose than just figuring out your net revenue.

Your budget is also a communication tool for your board and your boss. Providing them some high-level information along with your fundraising plan will help show the board what activities you do to raise money and what it costs to make that money.  

So while they may not understand a lot about fundraising (another topic for another day), the budget is an added tool to inspire confidence that you can raise what you’ve projected at the costs you’ve estimated.  

So ya, budgets are pretty darned important.  

And don't even get us started on how to communicate to your board...that's next week. 


Here is an offer you don't want to miss out on! 

If you know you need help to build a plan and budget that matches, check out our Planning with Purpose course. Self-paced. Guided videos and materials. Bonus materials. Walk away with a fundraising plan and budget that works for your organization. It's everything you need in one course.


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