Top Tips for Sustainable FundraisingTax Professionals' Resource
November 16, 2012 — 1,234 views
Top Tips for Sustainable Fundraising
The constant concern of any non-profit organization, aside from continuing its good work, is fundraising. Not simply raising funds, but creating consistent revenue that ensures the organization can maintain a dependable level of service provision to those who need it most. In some cases, achieving sustainable fundraising requires altering the way the development team and/or the board thinks. In other cases, it requires a change in methodology.
Broaden the Definition of Capital
What the organization receives as a result of a fundraising drive may not necessarily translate into direct, immediate income. But it may represent dollars down the road. Don’t discount the many forms in which delayed funds come: volunteer hours, in-kind donations, endowments, bequests, pledges, employer matching programs, etc.
Reach Out to the Community
The old adage that you have to be a friend to have a friend is true. If the community doesn’t know you or recognize you or understand your impact, it isn’t likely to support you. Equal importance must be placed on who the organization serves and who makes service possible. Offer educational seminars, send informational mailings, invite media coverage, solicit speaking engagements and so forth.
Get Real Board Members on Board
Choose board members wisely. Board members should believe in the cause, be motivated to work for the cause and be willing to roll up their sleeves. Board members who faithfully contribute time, talent and monetary donation to a fundraising effort are persuasive proponents. Other potential contributors are likely to follow their lead.
Make Special Events Truly Special
Just because another non-profit in the area is hosting a walk-a-thon doesn’t mean the development team has to strike it from the brainstorming list. The essential issue to consider is what will be special or different about your walk-a-thon. What will set it apart and inspire people to participate? Maybe participants will walk with a celebrity or attend a private post-walk concert. Whatever you do, make this year’s participants look forward to coming back next year and make non-participants eager to join in.
Keep Track of Donors
It’s important to know who supports your cause and how to contact each supporter. Purchase database software specifically designed for donor management by non-profits.
Fit the Fundraising to the Donor
Take a cue from the maxim of I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Know who your core donors are, what they do, their contribution patterns, how they respond to requests and the way they like to be thanked. Tailor fundraising efforts toward appealing to them and they will continue supporting the organization now and in years to come.