One of the most often sought after pieces of information The Center is asked for is, “How Can We Make More Money to Support Our Mission?” That is a critical question to nonprofit capacity and one that has, thankfully, multiple good answers. This section is dedicated to best practices in fundraising with advice from some of the most successful fundraisers in the business. We wish to thank all of the C4NPR workshop presenters, consultants and experts who have given their permission to post or link to their materials.
Elements of a Fundraising Plan
We are beginning with an outline below for a fundraising plan. The resources on this page will define strategies that can contribute to the capacity and sustainability of your organization. When sitting down with your staff and board to discuss fundraising, please consider the following:
- Goals for each strategy
- Audience & prospects
- Who’s responsible for what?
Great Advice from Seth Godin with Amy Eisenstein
Strategies, Audiences and Advice to Get You Started
Fundraising Plans – The first step in fundraising is creating a strategic plan. The board, the executive director and key fundraising staff should be part of its development as all of these people will have a role in the ultimate financial success of your efforts. See Stephanie Roth, Mimi Ho and Priscilla Hung’s Fundraising Planning Worksheet from GrassRootsFundraising.org.
Fundraising Compliance – States oversee fundraising in order to protect consumers. Charities must register with the state before soliciting donations. Registration is the first step to ongoing compliance with state charitable solicitation laws. In subsequent years, fundraising registration renewal is an important compliance activity just like filing your IRS Form 990 and state annual reports. Click here for a Guide to Ohio Fundraising from Harbor Compliance. Click here for a Guide to Michigan Fundraising from Harbor Compliance.
Strengthening the Board’s Role in Fundraising – These two articles will provide you with strategies to help boards who don’t see themselves as fundraisers become more comfortable in that role. The first one by Kim Klein entitled, Fifty-Three Ways for Board Members to Raise $1000 is from ussocialforum.net. The second, entitled How to Create a Fundraising Action Plan for Your Board, comes from Gail Perry’s blog.steep decline in the performance of fundraising emails – See more at: http://www.npengage.com/email-marketing/email-fundraising-ideas/#sthash.KU9qJjDO.dpuf
Fundraising Among Your Volunteers – The Chronicle of Philanthropy provides some help and perspective into this sometimes difficult subject. Turning Volunteers into Donors.
Major Gift Acquisition – If you are wondering where to start with regard to Major Gifts, consider Six Simple Steps to Major Gifts for Small Shops featured on Guidestar.org by Amy Eisenstein. A must-see is Kay Sprinkel Grace’s Infinity Loop – The Way We Keep and Grow Donors at http://majorgivingnow.org.
Campaigns – Bloomerang.co offers Building a Successful Capital Campaign as an overview of essentials when launching your first or next Capital Campaign effort. For information on Annual Funds read Kim Klein’s advice, Launching an Annual Campaign at The Grass Roots Institute for Fundraising Training.
Email Marketing Campaigns – Two economical resources for sending email marketing are MailChimp and Constant Contact. Visit this slideshare presentation by Tim Watson for current trends at http://www.slideshare.net/Smart-Insights/email-marketing-trends-29100171. Gail Perry weighs in on How to Get your Emails Opened in this article from gailperry.com.
Steep decline in the performance of fundraising emails – See more at: http://www.npengage.com/email-marketing/email-fundraising-ideas/#sthash.KU9qJjDO.dpuf.
Fundraising Ideas to Reverse the Trend of Declining Email Response Rates – See more at: http://www.npengage.com/email-marketing/email-fundraising-ideas/#sthash.KU9qJjDO.dpuf.
- Accept donations online through PayPal for Nonprofits
- Google for Nonprofits.
- Network for Good is another cost-effective way to receive donations online. Read their article, Eight Tips for Email Fundraising.
- For online giving for churches, visit https://www.easytithe.com.
- Considering seeking funds from residents in other states? Visit Charity Compliance Solutions or the National Association of State Charity Officials to better understand how online fundraising is subject to rules and laws for out-of-state fundraising.
Networking and Associations That Can Help You
- Association of Fundraising Professionals – This professional association for individuals is responsible for generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of not-for-profit, charitable organizations.
- To network with local fundraisers, gain CFRE credit and other benefits including free webinars, visit Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
- Rural Grant Writers Network – Has free membership and offers regular meetings with professional development sessions covering the latest trends in grantsmanship.
Databases for Fundraising Professionals
- Noza – The world’s largest searchable database of charitable donations offers over 800,000 Foundation Grant Records that you can search for free.
- Guidestar – Is a searchable database of nonprofit organizations and their 990 forms. Search 990s to see what contributions that grantmaking foundations have made to area nonprofit organizations.
- Foundation Directory Online – The Foundation Directory is updated daily. It provides access to 140,000+ funder profiles, 4 million recent grants and more than 1 million recipient records. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library provides free access to this resource at Main Library. Contact Zachary Huber at Zachary.firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment and bring a flash drive to save your searches.
- Grant Select – You will find this database at ToledoLibrary.org. You will need your library card and pin number to gain access. Grant Select is a searchable listing of over 13,000 private and government funding opportunities for nonprofits, research and scholarship. Provided through a grant from The Center for Nonprofit Resources.
Helpful Magazines, Blogs and E-newsletters
- Grassroots Fundraising Journal –www.grassrootsfundraising.org
- Future Fundraising Now – Jeff Brooks has moved the popular ‘Donor Power’ blog to this new site. Jeff constantly produces thought-provoking and educational posts on all aspects of fundraising. A constant source of insight.
- The Agitator – one of the longest running nonprofit blogs and still delivering excellent content on all aspects of fundraising.
Great Books Available at Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, through www.josseybass.com and at local bookstores:
- Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times by Kim Klein
- Fundraising for Social Change by Kim Klein
- Working Across Generations by Robby Rodriquez, Frances Kunreuther and Helen Kim
- Accidental Fundraiser by Stephanie Roth and Mimi Ho
- Beyond Fundraising: New Strategies for Innovation and Investment in Nonprofits by Kay Sprinkel Grace. John P. Wiley & Sons, New York. 1997. Second edition, March, 2005.