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Creating And Sustaining Donations

By Heather Brown
May 21, 2015

Like many nonprofit leaders and executives, you might be experiencing some anxiety over your nonprofit agency’s financial stability.Economic uncertainty might be staring you in the face.Or, perhaps, your finance committee’s projections for the remainder of the year look dismal if nothing is done soon.

All that you know is that you need money to keep your organization afloat.

Develop a Fundraising Plan

As a nonprofit organization, you have tax exempt status and that is attractive to most donors and funding sources because it provides for a tax write off for their contributions to you. In order to effectively attract donations, sponsorship funds and other contributions, you will need to develop a fundraising plan.Your fundraising plan acts like a guide for your fundraising efforts for the funds necessary to effectively operate your organization and its programs.

Your fundraising plan should include:

  • Overall fundraising goal (dollar amount; include in the form of a budget)
  • Period of fundraising activities (at least 6 months)
  • Fundraising targets:
    • Corporate sponsors
    • Grants
    • Donations
    • In-kind contributions
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Fundraising team members (include staff and board members)

Identify Who Can Do What

Make a list of potential contributors. Start with people connected to your organization such as vendors, suppliers and corporate partners. Think of businesses and individuals  who have supported you in the past. Identify local businesses and associations with a corporate culture and values that mirror your organization’s mission.

Make contact with potential contributors for donations.Ask for help with a specific program. State what you need and how it will help. Clearly articulate the needs of who is helped by your organization through its programs. Follow up within 15 days of initial contact and again after 30 days.

Remain Aware of External Factors

Aside from the commonfinancial issues, numerous external factors can impact your fundraising efforts. The financial crisis of 2008 with the real estate meltdown and Wall Street bailouts put many nonprofits in dire straits regarding corporate giving. Many natural disasters funds for relief efforts tend to pull a great amount of donations away from many smaller nonprofits, funding larger organizations such as the Red Cross. Remain aware of such external factors.

Once you have implemented your fundraising plan, always keep in touch with your donors and other contributors.Thank and acknowledge them. Invite them to visit your program. Sustain the relationship and sustain the resources of donations for your organization.

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