Free Checklist for Effective Fundraising: Policies and Procedures

Free Checklist for Effective Fundraising: Policies and Procedures

fundraising checklist

fundraising checklistFundraising is more effective and sustainable if it is underpinned by clear policies and supportive procedures on matters that directly affect fundraising operations.

As your fundraising program develops policies and procedures for fundraising are required to support the effective implementation of fundraising activities.



Fundraising policy guides how your organisation will act in regards to particular fundraising activities. Adhering to policy at the designated levels will ensure organisations act appropriately, with consistency and abide by the law. Policy should be helpful in nature, and developed to reflect the organisation’s needs as well as sector legislation.

1. Agreed wording for bequests

Provided by a solicitor and approved by your organisation. Policy is required to indicate whether the agreed wording recommends that bequests are directed to specific project(s) or general needs.

2. Database entry policy

Determines what data should be recorded, how it should be recorded and what information should NOT be put in your database.

3. Donor Recognition

Indicates the appropriate and legal recognition that your organisation can provide to donors in appreciation and acknowledgement of their benefaction.

4. Gift Acceptance

Determines how your organisation will decide what gifts to accept and who will make the decisions.

5. Gift Disbursement

Indicates how your organisation distributes funds in accordance with undertakings given to donors.

6. Investment

Covers accrual of interest for funds held until disbursement; treatment of endowments including capital growth.

7. Prospect Clearance

Used to allocate particular prospects to particular projects (and fundraising staff) and to prevent unhelpful simultaneous approaches by fundraising staff or others involved.

8. Privacy of Information

In addition to legislative requirements, covers donor privacy and confidentiality.

9. Sponsorship

Indicates the framework and guidelines for a mutually beneficial partnership between your organisation and a sponsor. Clearly indicates that any activities or relationships that would tarnish the reputation or integrity of your organisation will not be approved.

10. Use of Unspecified Donations and Bequests

Indicates whether there is a standing action for applying to any general endowment funds, or when your organisation’s discretion is used, or how decisions will be made.


Effective procedures enable your organisation to retain essential knowledge even when staff leave, and to facilitate continuous improvement of fundraising.

Fundraising procedures should be tailored to reflect the operations, structure and activities of your organisation. Management should ensure that all fundraising staff and all volunteers are aware of, understand, and have access to, all relevant procedures.

Procedures should be followed by all relevant volunteers and staff at the appropriate levels to ensure effective fundraising.


1. Appeals

Work Plan for appeals, including how mailing records and donor/prospect groups are selected (segmented) to participate in the appeals, and how reminders, thank you calls and/or other solicitation activity will take place.

2. Bequest Promotion

Sequenced activities to promote bequests. These procedures are important, and must give appropriate weight to recommending independent legal counsel, and include family members in discussions to minimise risk of problems or actions aimed at defending claims of undue influence.

3. Contact Reporting

The process to record significant interactions with key organisations and individuals

4. Database Entry

Steps to ensure donor data is recorded correctly, with consistency and is maintained over time. Also includes simple rules about what is appropriate to record and what is not appropriate.

5. Donation Data Management

To collect all required information on donor, amount and purpose connected to a gift and provide information to all who need it.

IMPORTANT – also deals with action to be taken to ensure that anonymous and/or confidential gifts are respected accordingly.

6. Donor Stewardship

Steps and options to maintain effective relationships with donors, grow their financial support, and move their relationship toward strong advocacy of your organisation. Includes reporting on use of previous contributions.

7. Prospect Management

Steps to attract prospective donors and sponsors to your organisation, and to transition prospects to donors.

8. Thanking and acknowledgement procedures

Steps to ensure that responses to donors are meaningful to the individual, proportionate to their gift, and appropriate for your organisation.


AskRIGHT Fundraising Consultants can review and optimise your fundraising activities. To find out how we can help your organisation, contact or call 1300 758 812 (AU) / 0274 929 636 (NZ).


We create and select resources to help you develop your fundraising and raise more money for your nonprofit organisation. You are welcome to use these resources for your non-profit organisation, but acknowledgement of the source and ©AskRIGHT is appreciated.

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Fundraising Consultants & Researchers at AskRIGHT
AskRIGHT fundraising consultants and researchers help non-profit organisations raise more money by providing optimal fundraising strategies, identification of donors and fundraising training.
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