Six pillars of fundraising
Big Business
Six pillars of fundraising

Six pillars of fundraising
Using the six pillars of fundraising to develop your funding strategy

The big idea

Fundraising has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. It has grown in breadth and depth and donors and funders have also become more discerning. The current economic environment has meant that the spotlight is now on fundraising as never before. This is forcing enterprises that undertake fundraising to re-appraise their approaches, expand their strategies and be realistic about what they can achieve. The days of the notional ‘balancing’ fundraising figure are long gone.

Understanding your fundraising targets and the extent of your portfolio is a fundamental part of the fundraising planning process. The approach presented here is based on the Six Pillars of Fundraising, which includes:

  1. Donations
  2. Grants
  3. Community-business partnerships
  4. Membership/Alumni/Friends
  5. Special events
  6. Earned income


The Fundraising Dashboard[1] has been designed to encourage you to build on every area of your fundraising (based on the six pillars above) and to be able to compare targets and outcomes side by side. This encourages internal benchmarking and provides a basis for external comparison where the data is available.

The Tool

The dashboard is a one-page template designed to help you identify and present the key targets for your fundraising. You can complete it on your own or with your team. It may take a few hours to do as you will need to collect detailed data on your fundraising.

  1. Adapted from DZO Strategists LLC, The ‘Beyond Cash’ Fundraising Management Dashboard