• Raising money gets more competitive every year.
• No matter how large and successful an organization becomes, its leader,
president, executive director will always need to be involved in fundraising.
Examples: Harvard, Yale, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity.
• The Board of Directors will always need to be involved as well.
• Fundraising is not new.
• People have been giving money to support the causes of charity, religion,
education and health since the time of the Ancient Greeks.
• Plato bequeathed productive land to his Academy so it could continue after
• What we are covering in this workshop is not rocket science. It is common
• Complete a feasibility study. Is there a need for your project in your
• Create a mission statement.
• Create a realistic budget.
• Plan and implement an initial program.
• Recruit a Board of Directors and identify your team.
• Work with your board to establish plans and priorities.
• Articulate your goals and objectives
• Draft bylaws.
• These, and perhaps some legal steps, come before fundraising. Donors
give money to credible organizations with track records.
Sources of Funding
• Board members
• Other Individuals
• Government Contracts
• Earned Income
These categories become the elements of your annual fundraising plan.
• Non-profit organizations need a diversified set of funding sources.
• Don’t rely on just one source.
• Every year is different.
“ A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.” IL Sen.
Everett Dirksen (deceased)
• Every Board member should make at least an annual financial contribution
to the organization
• If the Board members won’t support the work, who will?
• Give a leading Board member the responsibility for soliciting Board gifts.
Giving by individuals makes up around 80% of money
given each year in the U.S. Add bequests and individuals give
85%. Go where the money is! (These stats are available from
various sources, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy)
– Individuals are the best long-term source because they keep renewing and you
don’t have to write them a proposal every year. Foundations prefer to give
startup money rather than fund ongoing operations.
– Minorities, small business owners and young entrepreneurs are potential donors
that are often ignored by the nonprofit community.
– Individuals give, on average, less than 4 % of their income annually.
– Americans gave an estimated $240.72 billion in 2003 or 2.2 percent of gross
domestic product. $179.4 billion from living individuals $21.6 billion from
bequests, $26.3 billion from foundations and $13.5 billion from foundations.
– Some of the most generous givers are middle-aged or older. Younger people
need to be engaged and involved so they grow into generous donors.
• People give to people.
• People give to people who ask.
• People give to people, not to organizations.
• People give where there is hope that things can change.
“Know how to ask. There is nothing more difficult for some people nor for others,
easier.” Basltasar Gracian
Reasons People Give
– Communitarians – improve community, good business
– Devout – religious reasons
– Dynasty – expected in family
– Investors – mix of cause-related and tax reasons
– Repayers – sense of obligation, loyalty
– Socialites – entry into social circles
Source: Prince and File, The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. Jossey-Bass
– Follow a leader who inspires confidence
– Reject debt (they won’t fund a deficit budget)
– Like to have their names spelled correctly
– Don’t read – give big bullet points and pictures
– Associate with winners
– Act only if there is a deadline
– Love rewards and recognition
– Fear criticism
– Tend to repeat pleasurable experiences and vice versa
– Admire excellence but suspect perfection – it’s ok to make mistakes.
– Don’t pay attention
– Resist change
Source: Harold Seymour, Designs for Fundraising.
• People give where they are involved and feel ownership.
• Therefore, you must find meaningful ways of getting potential and ongoing
donors involved in your work.
How to reach people: In declining order of effectiveness:
• Person to person
• Personal letters signed by someone they know
• Direct mail
• Other –thons (walkathons, etc.), special events
Are appeal letters part of your annual plan? They should be. Strategize
sending an annual, semi-annual or more frequent appeal letter to everyone
who has donated in the past and who might possibly be interested in your
work. Publications are central to cultivating individual donors.
– Brief description of problem and program activities
– Pictures, personal anecdotes – it’s good to include photos in everything
you send out.
– Give people hope that things can improve
– Ask if they would consider supporting the work. If possible, tell exactly
what donations of different sizes would be used for.
– INCLUDE A RETURN ENVELOPE!
– We’ll always be glad to look at mail appeals make suggestions.
He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he
wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.
-- W. Somerset Maugham
Make Direct Mail Part of your plan.
Elements of a successful fundraising letter
• The outside envelope
• The letter with personalized address, signature and possible hand-written
• The response card
• The response envelope
• Optional- a picture, Bible quotation, shopping list ($35 will sponsor a child
to…), address labels, hand-made Christmas ornament made by the kids or
• Pressing need ( We need to raise $25,000 by 00/00/00 to receive a match
Making Events Pay
• Start early- one year ahead for a big event.
• Create a budget and stick to it.
• Line up sponsorship to get all costs for space, food,
entertainment, raffle items etc donated. Do an ad book.
• Sponsorship requires a letter and lots of follow-up on the
phone and in person.
• Recruit lots of volunteers, establish committees and give each
committee both freedom and responsibility.
• Ticket committee should distribute tickets early and tell people
not to bring any back unsold.
How to Approach Individuals
• Collect email addresses for a low-cost newsletter.
• Web site-Any 501 (c) (3) organization can add information to a free web site posted
by Guidestar. Log on to www.guidestar.org for details.
• Continually collect names and addresses to add to your mailing list.
• People don’t have to be rich to be potential donors. Receiving small amounts of
money from lots of people demonstrates community support.
• Invite potential donors to visit and see your work, with the mutual understanding that
you’re hoping they’ll decide it’s worth their time to help in some way. Give them a
little time after the visit and then ask if and how they’d like to be involved – as a
board member, volunteer, advisor, donor, etc. Even if they don’t want to
immediately, ask if they’d like to be on your mailing list. In many cases, the more
capacity a person has to give, the longer it will take to cultivate them.
• It can take a long, long time for someone to decide to become a donor. Don’t get
Thank your donors!!!
• Send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of receiving the donation.
• Be sure to spell the donor’s name correctly!
• Thank board members at least as well as you thank other donors.
Valuing In-Kind Donations
• We don’t assign a value to gifts-in-kind you receive and recommend that you
don’t assign values either. Send a thank you stating the date and the type of
• Carefully consider before you accept in-kind donations. Some are more trouble
than they are worth. You may wish to nicely decline the offer.
They deserve a lot of attention,
just not all of your attention.
• They give general and project-specific funds. The big ones are good for seed or
project money, but not for long-term funding.
• Small family foundations are more like individuals – their guidelines are less
• Foundation giving increased during the bull market, decreased when the
bubble burst and will take a while to rebound. Foundations are required by law
to give an average of 5% of their assets each year.
• The search for foundation dollars is getting more competitive every year.
• If a foundation that you thought was a good match turns you down, call and get
feed back and try again in one year.
• We talk about foundations in more detail in the proposal-writing workshop.
Sources of Funding
Corporations often tie giving to marketing.
– Benevolence funds
– Minutes for Mission
The goal with churches is the members, not the church’s giving.
Churches give small amounts to many groups; individuals can give
• United Way (usually for groups with $250,000 or more budget, look at the
• Earned income: business ventures as part of program (worm castings).
• Government Contracts
• NOFA’s published in the Federal Register
• Web site www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html
• Search google.com
• Stay in touch with your congressman and Alderperson about government
funds. This is a better use of your time than digging through the Federal
Annual Fundraising Plan
• Planning guidelines: The Pyramid
– Donations from individuals often follow a pyramid pattern. For many
organizations 15-20% or more of the budget comes from a few major
– Analyze where your funding is coming from; where does it make sense
to focus your efforts?
– Consider which of your donors could be encouraged to move to a higher
• Create a fundraising plan every year. Components of the plan could include:
individuals, board members, churches, foundations, corporations, earned
income, special events, government funding.
• The format of the plan doesn’t matter. Create a plan that works for your
organization and your board members.
Tracking Results Against the Plan
- On a monthly basis, you should be comparing your actual revenue and
its sources with your expectations.
- Compare your monthly financial report with your plan.
Keeping Track of Your Donors
• A mailing list is a list of all people who could or should receive SOME
publication from you.
• A donor list is the subset of that list that contains people/groups who
have given before. Most of them will probably receive your annual
appeal, etc., while other people on your mailing list may only want your
• A “worry list” has all the top donors that haven’t given this year, why,
and who should call them or meet with them.
• You can do these on 3x5 cards or on a computer data base.
Annual Communication Plan
• Make a communication plan part of your annual plan.
• Does your brochure meet your needs?
• How many appeals will you send?
• How many newsletters?
• Are you ready for a web site?
• Public Relations, media, press releases
• Expand the number of individual donors
• Diversify your funding sources
• Focus on running, measuring, and communicating one
• Sell a project people care about
• Fundraising is a process!
• Don’t expect easy or early success
• Don’t be discouraged.
• Learn from what didn’t work.
As you grow, you will need a longer term
A Strategic plan for fundraising:
• has immediate and long-range goals for at least 3 years forward.
• Involves the Board of Directors
• Includes 3 points:
– Annual fund – ongoing fundraising for operational support
– Capital campaign (or other periodic special campaigns)
– Planned giving (once your organization is well established and 15+ years
Grant Search References
• The Donor’s Forum of Chicago (208 S .LaSalle St. Suite 740 60604, phone
312-578-0175) is a great source of information about foundations. Become
familiar with the Donors Forum web site: www.donorsforum.org .
• Also learn to use www.guidestar.org where you can download foundation’s
• The Chronicle of Philanthropy (available at Donor’s forum)
• Nonprofit Times (available at Donor’s forum)
• Contributions Magazine – free. Circulation Department PO Box 338 Medfield,
• Designs for Fundraising
• The Fundraising Handbook by Robert Krit
• Grassroots Fundraising - look at the local library & Donor’s Forum
Grant Search References (con’t)
• Donor's Forum Resources
• Nonprofit Guides
• Foundation CenterServices
• Wealth Engine
• Marquis Who's Who Online
ABCs of Proposal Writing
________________________________________ will learn how to:
• Understand what corporate and foundation
funders are looking for in “partner” agencies.
• Learn how to present an effective “case for
support” to potential funders.
• Recognize the importance of stating clear goals
and objectives for their program or agency.
WHAT FUNDERS LOOK FOR IN
• Is applicant a 501 (c)3 • Many, not all, are paying attention
organization? to diversity in terms of composition
of staff and board.
• Is proposal within their giving
priorities? • Plans for continuation of project
after termination of grant.
• Is the need statement compelling,
clearly thought through, well- • Realistic objectives.
documented with objective
evidence? • Appropriate budget.
• Organizational credibility in terms • Any unusually original
of quality of service, caliber of methodology – a decided plus!
staff, financial management,
reputation in the community,
board involvement. • Possibility of replication by others.
• Introduction – Request (the • Evaluation
ask) and organizational
information • Cost/Itemized Budget
• Problem or Needs Statement • Proposal Summary and Grant
• Proposed Project
– Goals and Objectives • Appendices
– Time Frame
• Your proposal should be neat, clean and
easy to read.
• Do not use jargon.
• Make it brief.
• Be positive.
• Avoid unsupported assumptions.
• Have your grandmother read it!
• Provides opportunity for personalization.
• Written on organization’s stationery.
• Probably signed by top official.
• Addressed to a specific person in the foundation or
• Tells who is making the request, for what purpose and
for what amount.
• Gives name, title and telephone number of contact
• May list enclosures.
• Cover Letter
• Full Proposal
• Requested Attachments:
– 501 C 3 Letter from IRS
– Financial Statement
– Annual Report
– List of Board of Directors
– List of Major Donors
– List of grants for this project
– Brochures & Publications
– Newspaper clippings
– Letters of Support
Apprentice Coaching Program
• Non-contract accounts receives fundraising assistance during workshops and
draft proposals can be reviewed during the 3-week series.
• This doesn’t mean we write a proposal for you, it means we’ll coach you to
• A business coach is available for 45-60 min. sessions at Goodcity by
appointment every Thursday: 9 to 4 pm (Times subject to change call for an
appointment. 773-473-4790, Shirley Jossell will schedule you with a coach.