Lesson 14

Identify ways to set your fundraising goals

Fundraising goals are usually a combination of how much money is needed and which prospective donors are ready to be asked.

It will be important for you to know your own costs of certain things. For instance

  1. If someone brings in records - what does it cost to get them on the shelf? - what does it cost to keep them for a year?
  2. Can you ask the person bringing in the records for a financial donation to help support getting them on the shelf and keeping them there?
  3. How much does it cost you to preserve a register?
  4. What is the cost to restore a register?
  5. Can you divide your annual budget by the number of feet of storage and ask donors to “Sponsor a Shelf”?

Once you have determined how much money you need then you need to determine how many donors and what size gifts are needed.

The science of fundraising says you need between four and seven prospects for every donation you receive. And usually 80% of the money will come from 20% of the donors.

If you want to raise $2,000 it usually doesn’t come from 10 people each giving 200. The chart below illustrates two different ways of raising $2,000.00.

Sample Gift Chart: Goal $2,000.00

Business/Corporate Prospects

Annual Amount Number of Gifts Required Number of Prospects Required Total Giving At This Level
$400 1 4 $400
$200 2 8 $400
$100 3 8 $300
$50 5 12 $250
$30 10 20 $300
$20 17 30 $200
$10 15 45 $150


Example A
54 127 $2000

$1000 1 4 $1000
$500 1 8 $500
$250 2 8 $500


Example B
4 20 $2000

After looking at the money you need to raise and the chart showing the number of donors and amounts of donations you need – you can decide if your financial goal is achievable.

Tip: In Year One you may choose to set activity goals based on identifying and cultivating a certain number of prospects that will be asked to make a gift in year two. Try to keep your goals realistic- it’s more fun to be successful and volunteers will be better motivated if they have success instead of falling short of a goal by a small amount.

Once you decide on activity and financial goals you can use a chart similar to the one below to start matching prospects and projects.

The Great Archive
Goal Amount: $35,000 with gifts being paid for over 3 years
Campaign Investment Level per donor Annual Amount Number of Gifts Required
Name of Prospect
Number of Prospects Required Pledge Years Total Giving At this Level
$5000 $1666 1
Hydro Company
4 3 $5000
Big Foundation
$2500 $833 2
Interested Board member
8 3 $5000
Researcher made it big
Local Foundation
Pepsi Foundation
Kellogg Cereal
Big insurance company Interested person
$1500 $500 4
Johnson & Johnson
16 3 $6000
Popular historian
Owner of local travel agency
Doctor with interest in collections
$1000 $333 8
Local foundation
32 3 $8000
A supplier Sister of person who gave papers to archive Grandson of person who started archive
$500 $167 15
Canadian Tire Family Fnd
88 3 $7500
Cultural Foundation
Local film producer
$100 $33 20
Credit Union
80 3 $2000
Milk Producers
$50 $16 25
Many Prospects
100 3 $1250
$25 $8 10
Many Prospects
40 3 $250
Total $35000 85
368 3 $35000

Assignment: Return to your Case for Giving and look at what you want to raise money for and how much you need. Then plug your goal into the Flexible Gift Table to see what size gifts and how many you will need.

Download Excel Doc 12 : Flexible Gift Chart