5 Indispensable Tips For Your Nonprofit Fundraising
Do you feel like you’re wasting a lot of time fundraising, instead of actually implementing the projects your organisation has been created for? This article is for you! Here are five tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for funding for your programs.
- Keep track of every contact you make, formal contacts (emails, calls, meetings) as well as informal ones (friend of a friend, 5 à 7, etc.). You might choose to use software dedicated to that purpose, such as Salesforce, or an Excel or Access database. It could be useful to invest in training. You will save a lot of time!
- Help foundations or government agencies do their job. They do want to give money, in the most efficient way possible! So don’t hesitate to call them before spending too much time on a proposal, to make sure your project matches their priorities. In the meantime, you will have put a voice on an anonymous title, and in the best case scenario, the person will remember you when he/she opens the package or email. They are human beings just like you!
- Give value to your own time. The objective is to find money for your programs. There are multiple costs associated to fundraising, and they’re not always direct or easily identifiable. Several team members in your organization may invest time in fundraising, maybe without even realizing it: whether it’s brainstorming, meeting with funders, proposal review and proofing, expenses forecast, or even proposal writing, ensuring the compliance of your processes with funder’s requirements regarding financial management and/or project evaluation. It is important to get a sense of all the time spent and to compare it with the amount of money you might collect.
- Adapt the format to your recipient. We don’t introduce ourselves the same way to the government as we do to a family foundation. Grant applications to the government often require jargon; look for trending concepts (governance, empowerment, leverage effect, multiplier effect)! Smaller private foundations will be more receptive to pictures and stories from your program’s participants. Don’t forget to get their permission to diffuse that information!
- Know who you are and why you do what you do. This will allow you to quickly seize new opportunities and to know more clearly how to present your projects to funders and make them attractive, without losing sight of your identity as an organization, or of your objectives.
And don’t forget; only one meeting at the right time or one well-focused proposal might be enough to fund your dream project! Who knows, maybe this call for proposal or this application you’re working on is the right one!