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Fundraising Idea of the Month:
Good Goals is the Goal

by Doug Nash

One of the critical keys to successful fundraising is proper goal setting yet most fundraisers do not know how to go about setting goals. Goals should be relevant, realistic and meaningful. By having relevant, realistic and meaningful goals, you will find it easier to find volunteers, keep them for the duration of the fundraiser and have them looking forward to the next fundraiser.

Another key to fundraising success is participation. Properly set goals will lead to an increased participation rate. If you can get people believing in the goals then the young and old will rise to the occasion. You have to do your homework to achieve the triple of relevant, realistic and meaningful. Let’s take them one at a time.

  • Relevant

    The project that the money is being raised for must be seen as directly related to your organisation. This normally means the end result should either solve one of the problems faceing your organisation or satisfy an ambition that the organisation was founded to achieve. This can range from building more shade for a playground to acquiring long needed equipment. A sure-fire way to judge the relevancy of a goal is to put it to a vote, the higher the vote in favour of the goal the better.

  • Realistic

    One major hassle faced by fundraisers is knowing the difference between wishful thinking and realistic ambitions. Be honest when accessing how much money your organisation can expect to raise and how long it will take to raise this amount of money. Unrealistic goals lead to frustration and disillusionment, both guaranteed to have your volunteers disappear. Do your homework – research previous efforts of your organisation to raise funds, both in amounts achieved and time taken. Be realistic in the type of fundraiser you will do and how many you intend to use to achieve the goal. Use a fundraiser that most if not all the members can get excited about. Just because they support the goal does not mean they will support the fundraiser itself.

  • Meaningful

    If the end result does not mean something to your volunteers then you will have a hard time motivating your troops and keeping them motivated during the time of the fundraiser. If your hear the response "yes, we could do that but what would be the point?" I suggest you reconsider what you are doing. You should either consider doing something more appealing or as the end result is not seen as worth the effort required, people will not put the effort in. The project must be something your volunteers can take into their hearts and make an emotional commitment to.

If your group accepts the fundraiser on it’s merits and relevancy, believe it can be done and have a burning desire to be a part of it then you stand an excellent chance of success. The foundation for this is a set of goals that are relevant, realistic and meaningful.

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About the Author:

Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at for more fundraising ideas.

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