10 Foolproof Fundraising Tactics
2. Revisit your story
What's your organization's emotional hook? Spend time with your clients, program staff and board members. Call a foundation. Talk to your board members, clients, staff, foundation funders and individual funders to find your emotional hook. Bring your mission to life.
3. Think 'multiple streams of income'
No organization should receive 90 percent of its funding from a single source. How can you grow your online giving, individual giving and foundation giving? With a solid and engaged volunteer base, even smaller nonprofit organizations can host modest (but profitable) events, solicit donations, operate neighborhood thrift stores or sell on eBay. Many smaller organizations have their own used-book stores, bringing in $25,000 to $50,000 extra yearly. Get creative!
4. Learn to use social media to engage
Twitter and Facebook are not broadcast mediums. They are, however, perfect tools of engagement. Question your donors and prospective donors regularly to get their input. Establish genuine dialogue on Facebook. Invest in the time it takes to grow a social-media fan base.
5. Stay the course
Develop a balanced, thoughtful fundraising plan that includes realistic goals for grants and corporate support, individual support, program support, and events. Plan for "multiple streams of income," yet with an eye to maximizing those activities that bring the highest return on investment.
6. When it comes to foundation funding, research, research, research
Remember that foundations are created with the sole purpose of supporting philanthropic causes — regardless of the state of the economy. To maintain their legal status, foundations must donate an amount equal to 5 percent of their assets averaged over five years. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has reported that small to midsized foundations actually have increased their giving during these challenging times to offset decreases in giving from other sources.
Pamela Grow is the publisher of The Grow Report, the author of Simple Development Systems and the founder of Simple Development Systems: The Membership Program and Basics & More fundraising fundamentals e-courses. She has been helping small nonprofits raise dramatically more money for over 15 years, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by Civil Society magazine, and one of the 40 Most Effective Fundraising Consultants by The Michael Chatman Giving Show.