Assets for Independence Resource Center
Marketing and Fundraising > Fundraising & Resource Development Plan

Fundraising & Resource Development Plan


Raising money and resources is never an easy task. That is why it is critically impotrant to develop a solid, strategic fundraising plan. We propose looking at the planning process along a continuum that poses three basic questions:

1. Where Are You now?

This is where you look at your current situation - your agency's stage in implementing its AFI Project, your current budget, and where your funding comes from.

2. Where do You Want to Go?

This is where you map out what it is you want to accomplish (e.g., amount of funds to raise, what to use funds for, from what sources).

3. How Will You Get there?

This is how you will go about raising the needed resources, with a focus on how you make your "pitch" to potential sources. Your pitch is based upon your results--helping people buy homes, bringing dollars/tax revenues to communities, etc. You need to identify prospects to pitch to (e.g., foundations, governments).

1. Where Are You now?

1.a. Stage in the Life Cycle

(Single site AFI project or a network AFI project)1

  Starting an AFI Project Growing an AFI Project Sustaining an AFI Project Exiting an AFI Project
Which "stage" best represents your program?        
What are the characteristics of your IDA Program at this stage (e.g., insufficient funds for training; desire to add another AFI grant but unsure we have enough resources,  like staff, to implement it; we have new partners and want to evolve to a network from our current single site operation)?  
What are some of the specific resource development  issues and needs for your agency at this stage (e.g., we can't raise enough non-federal cash match; we don't have a diverse enough base of contributors; we don't have any fundraising staff or capacity to fundraise)?  


1.b. Current Budget

Fill in overall amounts for income and expenses in major categories. Please note: aggregate categories are presented below to ease your planning work.


Current Budget

Savings of IDA Participants  
AFI Match  
Other non-AFI Match Funds  


Current Budget

IDA Match for Participants


Operating or Program Expenses

This category may include: coordination of local partners and account management, financial literacy education, asset specific education, marketing and recruitment costs, data management, evaluation, fundraising and resource development costs, administrative, supplies, room rental, other costs.

Note: AFI Network Projects have an additional level of coordination which may offset administrative costs at the local level, including costs associated with: Network Coordination; Network Data Management; and Network Fundraising & Resource Development


Network project

For projects that operate as Networks. Examples include: coordination, management,  fundraising, resource development, network supplies, database management, room rental, evaluation, hardware/ software



2. Where do You Want to Go?

2.a. Budget Needs


Current Budget

Insert figures from budget chart in
1.b., above

Budget Needs

Savings of IDA Participants    
AFI Match    
Other non-AFI Match Funds    




IDA Match for Participants

(Use calculation chart, below, to estimate needed funds)



Operating or Program Expenses

(Use calculation chart, below, to estimate needed funds)



Network Expenses




Calculation Chart:

IDA Match Funds for Participants


Number of Accounts to be Opened  
multiplied by: X
Savings Duration (in years)  
multiplied by: X

Participant Savings Cap

(The maximum amount of participant savings an AFI
project will match)


multiplied by: X
Match rate  

Match Budget needed for the project

(Do the math from the data above)



  • $1 in nonfederal funds is required for every $1 of AFI funds
  • A maximum of 15% of AFI + nonfederal funds can be used for operations – 85% must be used for matching accountholder savings.

Calculation Chart:

Cost Estimate of Working with Participants*
(Coaching, Account Management)


ADD Demonstration Project Overall

$70.38 per participant month



$2,000 per account


Other Cost Basis:


*Note:  Your cost basis may be very different. DO NOT forget to take into consideration your AFI Project’s stage in the life cycle of an IDA Program and your AFI Project Outcomes. Different outcomes result in different activities, which can result in different levels of costs.

Example: Single
Site IDA Project

Grant Award/ Funding Secured

85% for Match

15% for Administrative

AFI $350,000 $297,500 $52,500
Non Federal $350,000 $297,500 $52,500
Total $700,000 $595,000 $105,000


Example: Network
IDA Project

Grant Award/ Funding Secured

85% for Match

15% for Administrative

AFI $1,000,000 $850,000 $150,000
Non Federal $1,000,000 $850,000 $150,000
Total $2,000,000 $1,750,000 $300,000


2.b AFI Project Outcomes

Outcome categories

Quantified Data (to be used in developing your pitch)

IDAs to open  
Financial Literacy training to provide  
Asset Literacy training to provide  
Building an advisory/volunteer component to help with fundraising  
Adding more partners, sub-contractors  
Expanding resources to include more cash, in-kind  
Integrating IDAs into other programs to maximize use of resources  
Building Coordination Capacity  
Adding new subgrantees Adding new partners other things to make this work  


2.c. What do you want?

What support do you need and what funders could you pursue?

Support needed

(identified from Step 1a issues identified and budget needs in Step 2a, above)

For Match Funds


For Operations Funds


For Network Coordination



3. How Will You Get there?

This is where you put concrete ideas down, based upon the above steps, to plot your plan for raising resources to leverage your grant, raise nonfederal match funds, and raise funds for operations and/or network coordination costs.

3.a Identify Your Prospects and Who Can Contact Them

Who can you get to help you identify and contact funding prospects?

Potential prospects (Who do they know or have access to?)

What prospects should they focus on?

Who are the contacts at these prospects?

Advisory Board













3.b Identify Your Pitches

What are your "pitches"?

Using your outcomes listed in Step 2b as a starting point, list the benefits, impact, results, return on investment of your single site or network IDA Project. This information becomes an argument, a pitch to prospects (individual donors, foundations, corporations, government).



What are the pitches that might work best with specific prospects?










3.c Put it Together and Make the Pitch


Pitch and contact

Who Makes the pitch

What are You Asking For (support for Match, Operations, network)


















3.d. Other Ways to Leverage Support

Integrate your IDA project inside larger asset-building activities. Doing so can enhance your pitches.

Effort to Integrate With


EITC Campaigns







Putting "Pitches" into Practice

The following scenarios represent different fundraising situations we often find ourselves in when building support for an IDA program. In your small group, read the scenario assigned and complete the following tasks for this role play activity:

  • Select one person in your group to represent the funder to whom the “pitch” is made. Send that person to talk to the facilitator for a few minutes as soon as they are selected.
  • Select another person to serve as the observer, who will take notes and report out to the larger group when this is done.
  • Select 1-2 people to serve as those making the presentation to the funder.
  • Working as a group, come up with an outline for the presentation, using the following page for your notes. Your goal is to be convincing and win over the funder with the case you make. Feel free to get creative and apply tools and ideas that you have used successfully. You have 15 minutes to do this.
  • When you are ready (or the 15 minutes are up), transition to the role play itself. The audience is your small group, including the observer. You have 10 minutes.
  • When you are finished, return to the large group for discussion.

Funding pitch scenarios

Scenario 1: You represent an AFI network project (collaborative) comprised of 10 organizations delivering services to a region of your state. The funder, a large family foundation that focuses primarily in the state, has funded community development activities such as housing and micro enterprise but is unfamiliar with IDAs. Prepare a 1 minute pitch for funding the IDA collaborative.

Scenario 2: A prominent, retired businesswoman in your community is meeting with you to learn more about how to get involved in your AFI-funded IDA Program. Recently active as a philanthropist, she has been funding organizations that promote education and small business development. Prepare a 1 minute pitch that would entice her interest in supporting your project.

Scenario 3: A corporation with extensive business operations in your state has long supported your organization’s work and you are now meeting with several executives to discuss the IDA Program and its impact on the broader community. Your goal is to secure the corporation’s support with a donation as well as in-kind support. Prepare a 1 minute pitch that will pique their interest.

Observer's Worksheet

The observer is an important role, bringing together all the interesting insights gained from the role play. By sharing your lessons learned, the entire group will benefit. During the activity, please record your thoughts and experiences about the process of making the case for IDAs to funders. The topics and questions below are provided to help you in this process. Thanks for taking this on for the group!

  • Was the "pitch" effective? Why or why not?


  • During the "pitch" development process, what processes or ideas were used that seemed most constructive to building an effective pitch?


  • What did the presenter do during the role play that seemed most effective? What was least effective? (Please think not only of the content, but also style, approach, demeanor, nonverbal cues.)


  • What can we learn from the funders' response? What questions did they ask? What comments did they make?
1. Borrowed with permission from the Assets Alliance IDA Training Institute 2005.

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