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Funding and SustainabilityFundraising

Fundraising Fitness

By September 13, 2023No Comments

It’s no secret…passion is not enough to operate a nonprofit. Money is a necessity. Unfortunately, most nonprofit founders, boards, and leaders either do not know how to raise funds OR they absolutely abhor the idea of asking for money.

Raising funds is simply the process of securing financial support and or in-kind support to fund the work of the organization as it serves the needs of the community. Financial support speaks for itself, but many organizations struggle with the concept of in-kind support. Simply stated, in-kind support is donated “stuff” to support the work of the organization.

For instance, suppose your organization provides a financial literacy program, and a local printer prints all your materials (participant workbooks, etc.) at no cost. This is an in-kind contribution. Volunteer hours can also count, just be sure to track the number of hours volunteers serve. Tracking the value of in-kind donations can be difficult, but it helps paint a comprehensive picture of the cost of the programs and services provided by the organization.

To raise funds to support your work, the single most important thing you can do is to tell the story of the organization. Stories help connect the hearts of those who hear them to the work and the people being served. We are naturally motivated by our hearts to make donations.

Often it takes more than one story. Frequent opportunities to tell stories of those you serve should be included in your plan of action. Share these stories on social media platforms, in newsletters, and with board members.

As you plan for your fall fundraising, collect stories from all team members who work with those you serve. Be sure to remove all identifying criteria from the story unless you have a signed release of information from the person. And, if the individual agrees to have a photo taken…even better.

Because many of us connect visually, pictures can truly be worth a thousand words. Think for a minute about those ASPCA commercials. Why do you think they use those pictures of puppies looking forlorn and malnourished in their crates?

How can we help you with your fundraising fitness? Join us for our upcoming 6-module online class to “build your fundraising muscles.” Class size is limited! Email today for more information.

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