Basic Nonprofit Fundraising Plan Template [Free Download]

Plan the work and work the plan. A mantra that works for fundraisers worldwide. 

But all too often, the year starts and fundraising planning gives way to crisis control. 

To help you get out of emergency mode, I’m sharing this nonprofit fundraising plan template – all ready for you to customize. 

Excel-lent magic

Don’t get too excited - it’s just a spreadsheet after all. Time and time again I’m surprised when people think I’m finally going to pull back the curtain and show them the REAL secret to fundraising. They are convinced this involves (at a minimum) some chanting and a magic wand.

I’m afraid my name isn’t Hermione Granger, and the only magic here is how just a little organizing can save your fundraising for the year. 

I’m going to take that back. Get excited! It’s a spreadsheet! And it IS magic! 

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a successful fundraising plan, this is a great start.

Achievable fundraising goals

This free fundraising template transforms “I have to raise $X,XXX,XXX” into manageable chunks. I remember the first time I worked with someone else on a fundraising strategy that was really similar to this template. 

“This is all it is?” she asked. When I said yes she replied, “Oh, well I can do THIS!” and I told her she was absolutely right!

“But Terri, this looks too basic?” you might be saying to yourself. Yes, it’s basic, and plans can and do get much more complex, but sometimes basic will save you. 

  • Basic is achievable.

  • Basic is accountable.

  • Basic will give you wins to be proud of as the year goes on.

Like that client of mine, you can use this template to write a simple, but effective fundraising strategy that helps everyone see major deadlines, their individual roles and how they contribute to the team’s success. Even if you are a “team” of one.

Download this free fundraising template now to track where you are going to spend your time, and on what.

The magic in column H

Important note: The most important/magical column on this spreadsheet is column H.

I’ll spare you the suspense of downloading and opening the sheet to tell you that this column is labeled, “Who can help you with this?”

When deadlines loom and the work keeps stacking up, column H will save your sanity if you are brave enough to use it. Ask for help. Help others back. It’s part of being in the nonprofit community.

Fundraising doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and great fundraising is what we like to call “Team Art” -- a phrase I picked up when I studied video production.

And even if your plan is hopelessly off track at the moment, it’s never too late to plan what you’ll do from next week until next (fiscal?) year.

You’ve got this. And this plan and column H are here to help.


Terri Shoemaker is Chief Strategy Officer of Abeja Solutions, a fundraising consultant firm that helps nonprofits create reliable revenue. A professional fundraiser, Terri has raised millions of dollars for nonprofit and higher education institutions. Read more from Terri.

You Might Also Like:

Plan Your Giving Season Budget

Write Fundraising Gold with a Storytelling Treasure Map

Fundraising Tool Helps Nonprofits Thrive