Fundraising, Strategy and planning

Fundraising Strategy

Do you lurch from one fundraising campaign to the next, or are you able to step back and take the long view?

In association with the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent and with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising

The way you approach fundraising can make all the difference to your charity’s success and its ultimate survival. The prudent fundraiser has to have a strategy in place that is both robust and dynamic, and this book will set you on the path to achieving that.

Grounded in robust theory but with the needs of practitioners at its heart, this fully rewritten new edition will be your indispensable aid. It shows you how to:

  • Understand the internal and external fundraising environment
  • Identify your strategic objectives and key audiences
  • Structure your tactics
  • Track, measure and control your plan
  • Avoid strategic wear-out

Who is this book for?

With additional insights around contemporary issues and advice on how to establish an ethical framework for your fundraising, this guide is a pre-requisite for all fundraising professionals.

‘Though the fundraising environment is changing rapidly, the fundamental principles, tools and techniques of sound strategic planning remain essential for fundraising success. When you’re working in fundraising day to day, including at a senior level, it’s good to be reminded of some of the tools that can help you see things from a fresh perspective. Read this book cover to cover or dip into the different sections; it’s a practical book for newcomers to the sector and experienced fundraisers alike.’

Beth Crackles, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Day One Trauma Support


‘Strategy is real work and it can be overwhelming. It requires fundraisers to roll up their sleeves, ask difficult questions and, ultimately, knuckle down and put pen to paper on a plan. This guide is one of the most honest I’ve read about how to navigate that process and build a dynamic fundraising strategy for your organisation. Richard and Claire have taken inordinate care to walk fundraisers through manageable steps as they distil both the science and art of strategy with reassuring aplomb. This is a resource that I shall myself have on my desk, and one that I will encourage all my charitable clients to also dig into. It is a book that every fundraiser should be referencing time and time again.’

Niduk D’Souza, Vice-President of Strategy and Marketing, Up Fundraising


‘This book is a really helpful companion for any fundraiser who wants to think more strategically about their work, or who has been tasked with leading a strategy process. The models and practices shared in the book can be redeployed as fundraising programmes develop and change, and as fundraisers’ remits and responsibilities evolve and grow. I wish it had been available years ago when I was starting out!’

Louisa Johnson, Head of Fundraising, Full Fact

‘Strategy is certainly the buzzword of all buzzwords these days with hundreds of books, courses and resources out there on the subject. Often, these are tailored for the business rather than the not-for-profit community – few are easy to understand and fewer relatable to our sector. So, if you are interested in fundraising strategy for your charity, I highly recommend this absolutely brilliant book. It is a clear and concise walk-through of developing your fundraising strategy, full of applicable examples that will help you tremendously. You’ll need this one on your shelf as well as for your whole leadership team and board!’

Cherian Koshy CFRE, Director of Development, Des Moines Performing Arts


‘At last! The book I wish I’d had 20 years ago. I feel I had to stumble towards this, drawing on a range of sources, but here it is: a definitive guide, grounded in real-world examples. I know this will help any fundraiser build and implement their strategy effectively, for I have seen the principles work. It should be standard issue across the sector.’

Matt Parkes, Director of Development, Diocese of Westminster, and Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising


‘This is a fantastic book for anyone tasked with the (often daunting) assignment of writing a fundraising strategy. Whether you aren’t sure where to start, are stuck in a rut with your current approach, or are eager to get others around you engaged with the process, there is something for you. The book’s plethora of handy, clearly explained and accessible tools mean anyone can get stuck in.’

Leah Selinger, Director, Selinger Consultants


‘This is a really welcome guide to the elements of creating and implementing a fundraising strategy, filled with useful and practical tools to create a fundraising plan grounded in insight. The content on fundraising ethics, inclusion and diversity, and emergent and agile strategy makes this book incredibly relevant in today’s changing fundraising landscape.’

Katie Simmons, Director of Fundraising Strategy, British Red Cross


‘It’s one thing knowing you need a fundraising strategy, but it’s a completely different thing being able to write one that is sensible and achievable. This book strikes a brilliant balance between walking you through the process of writing a meaningful strategy and explaining the rationale behind each step.

I particularly love the fact that Claire and Richard assess each tool in an impartial manner, addressing the weaknesses of each tool as well as the strengths. When you combine that with the case studies and the rich evidence base, you will have everything you need to get buy-in from even the most sceptical managers or trustees.

Whether you are writing your first fundraising strategy or your hundredth, you will find something in this book that  will  make  your  strategy stronger.’

David Burgess, Director, Apollo Fundraising

About the authors

Claire Routley

Claire Routley has worked in fundraising for almost twenty years for a number of different charities, ranging from a local hospice to Age UK. Claire is now a consultant specialising in legacy and in-memory fundraising and is an in-demand speaker at conferences across the UK. She is a fellow of The Chartered Institute of Fundraising where she also teaches across its range of fundraising qualifications. Claire holds the world’s first PhD in Legacy Marketing and is also a chartered marketer.

Richard Sved

Richard is Director of 3rd Sector Mission Control. He is an experienced senior manager having led the fundraising team at nine national charities including Girlguiding, Epilepsy Society and The National Literacy Trust. Richard specialises in income generation, strategic planning and charity governance.


Find out more about the Fundraising Series here.


Check out our Charity Questions podcast with Richard and Claire here now.


Look inside

Have a look inside Fundraising Strategy


The Fundraising Series is supported by The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIOF). If you are a CIOF member you are entitled to 15% off each individual purchase by applying the  discount code which can be retrieved by logging in to the member benefit  area of their website. This offer cannot be used concurrently with other bundle offers or bulk discounts that may be available.

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