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Solution Set: Essentials of Fundraising

Nonprofit University has developed a series of exclusive "Solution Sets" to help develop and sustain best practices.

Fundraising is one of the biggest challenges nonprofit organizations face. Planning your fundraising strategy could make the difference between success and failure when it comes to the enacting of a development campaign. This solution set gives an overview of fundraising to help you forge a case for support, identify who is most likely to give to your mission, engage your board to fundraise and devise a plan that helps you steer your fundraising efforts.

Download Solution Set: Essentials of Fundraising.

This in-depth package provides extensive tools and resources organized around the following key topic areas in nonprofit fundraising:

Developing a Case for Support

A case for support lays out a clear and captivating argument for why your organization and its particular program or service is important and should be supported.

Developing a Fundraising Plan

Ideally, your goal should be to create a broad funding base for your nonprofit. Developing a fundraising plan allows your organization to recognize what you have to work with, organize the steps you need to follow to put the fundraising plan in place, define what you really need, and demonstrate to the others that you are organized.

Setting Fundraising Goals

Before you fundraise, you need to know what kind of resources your organization needs to achieve its goals. A good timeframe to begin planning your nonprofit’s operating budget and fundraising plan is four to six months before the beginning of the fiscal year. You should determine what your goals will be for the upcoming year, the amount and type of funding needed, and how the funds will be used.

Sources of Funding

There are several funding sources to support the operations of nonprofit organizations and to help nonprofit organizations provide services to their communities. Generally, there are four sources of funding: Individual, Foundations, Corporations, Government

Identifying Prospects

The growth and sustainability of your organization depends upon donors who have the desire and capacity to support your organization. In order to determine your donor prospects or cultivate a relationship with a potential donor, research must be performed. Prospect research helps you determine and evaluate the direction of your energy and development staff resources.

Creating Your Own Fundraising Plan

You've probably heard of the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The same concept applies to a fundraising campaign. In the Setting Fundraising Goals section, you learned how to determine your funding needs. In this section, you will learn how to create your own fundraising plan in several easy steps.

Calculating Return on Investment

An easy way to determine the viability of your fundraising efforts is to evaluate your return on investment. ROI determines if your event was cost effective for your organization and benefited your organization financially.

Utilizing Your Board to Raise Funds

Board members are responsible for determining the organization’s mix of programs and services and ensuring that adequate funds are present to carry out those programs and services.

The Development Committee

The development committee provides leadership for engaging the board in fundraising. Working with the board chairperson, CEO, and senior development staff, the development committee helps develop and enact the fundraising plan.

Donor Growth and Retention

Urging others to donate to your organization, ensuring you retain your current donors and encouraging donors to increase their gifts, are all ongoing processes. The basis of donor growth and retention is developing meaningful relationships with donors to attain their loyalty and support.

Download Solution Set: Essentials of Fundraising.

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