The SMART Guide for Setting Your Fundraising Goal

Set Your Goal

An important step in your fundraiser is to determine a fundraising goal that will cover the cost of what you need. Your goal is one of the most important elements of your fundraiser, so it’s important to choose it mindfully.

Focus on what you need. Be sure to choose a goal that demonstrates that you understand exactly what your cause needs. To set the goal, evaluate what costs you’re facing and add up the expenses. Start with a moderate, realistic goal so you can create momentum for your fundraiser. Remember, you can increase your goal at any point in your fundraiser.

Implement the SMART method when deciding on your fundraising goal.







S Is for Specific

Create a detailed breakdown of all your current and expected costs. Consider including the cost breakdown in your fundraiser’s story. This will earn donors trust and show people that you took the time to think about exactly what you need for your cause.


M is for Measurable

GiveHope makes it easy to track your progress. Each donation you receive will be shown on your fundraiser’s page and goal meter, in real time. To make your objective measurable, ask yourself how much money you need to raise to reach your goal.


A is for Attainable

Your fundraising goal should be attainable. Your first donations will most likely be from friends and family, so keep your network’s finances in mind when creating a goal. Setting higher goals can also work against you. If you set a high goal, people will feel as if their donations are unimportant and lose the drive to donate. Your fundraising goal should be challenging, not impossible.


R is for Realistic

GiveHope values achievements that make a positive difference in communities around the world. Knowing the ‘why’ behind your fundraising goal will positively influence donors. Donors like to know what impact this gift will have. You should know how every fundraising goal relates to your cause.


T is for Timely

Letting people know that your campaign has a deadline is an important part of making your objectives specific and measurable. Creating a timeline for your campaign also makes it easier to check your progress towards your goal. If you are two weeks into a month-long fundraiser, and you are nearly halfway to your goal, you are doing great! But if you fundraiser is half way through and you haven’t met your halfway goal, you’ll know it’s time to put extra work for the second half of your fundraiser.


We’re here to help you create a fundraising page that gets results. For more advice and ideas on how to make a great fundraiser, check out For Tips for Setting a Fundraising Goal and The Killer Guide for Reaching Your Donors.