10 Foolproof Fundraising Tactics
Make it a practice to routinely scope out new sources of foundation funding. I was recently asked, "Well, after so many years, don't you run out of new potential foundation funders?" The answer is a resounding, "No!" Not if you keep your eyes and ears open and engage in weekly research.
Develop a system where you send proposals or letters of inquiry to new foundations on a weekly basis. Work on building relationships with foundation funders.
7. Consider monthly giving
When discussing monthly giving programs, international fundraiser Ken Burnett has said, "Unless you can get a job as CEO of a failed bank, there's probably no surer way to reliably secure large sums of money at regular intervals for your cause."
If you have donors who give you $1,000, $100, even $25 every year, they're prime candidates for a monthly giving program. The best book I've read on monthly giving is "Hidden Gold" by Harvey McKinnon. No need to think of this as a huge endeavor when you're just starting out. Introduce it with your next annual appeal — as a P.S. … talk to your bank about an electronic funds transfer option. Monthly giving has been a popular tool in the U.K. for years. Implement one now. Give donors the option of monthly credit card or checking account debits.
8. Retain staff
Retaining staff is a key component of a successful fundraising office. I've worked with nonprofit organizations that have had — seriously — five development directors in three years! How can an organization have any kind of continuity with donors with that kind of record? Staff your organization with creative, quality individuals, and do your best to keep them. And if you're not sending your development staff to workshops, classes and seminars, you're doing your organization a grave disservice. Training enables and accelerates innovation. It's good for the employee and the employer.
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.