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Raising Money from the Ground Floor: Setting Strategy

There are many ways to engage your nonprofit board in raising money.

No Strategy in place? If you’re raising $$ without a plan, it’s time to craft one. When staff, board and stakeholders in your nonprofit mission are clear about direction, programmatic as well as raising money, you have some things to hang your hat on.

First: What’s the fundraising environment for your nonprofit? Starting with reports like Giving USA from the Giving Institute at University of Indiana. It’s among the most highly reliable sources of data on annual giving by Americans as recorded on IRS tax reports. Very useful to see trends in your and related categories of nonprofits.

Second: What’s happening in your neck of the woods? Check with a local community foundation, or your Statewide association of nonprofits for data. Is data available by category of nonprofit mission? By budget size? By number of years in business? Look for data that helps you compare where you are and set a course that will make sense based on realities in your marketplace.

Third: How will you raise the dough? I recommend that you start with the annual appeal. Identify two or three strategies (Who are your best prospects? What are the range of gifts you’re going for? Will you identify prospects for face-to-face solicitation?).
What role will special events play in your plan?
How will you cultivate planned and memorial gifts?

Getting organized, and targeting fundraising goals that will meet the needs of the program you’re offering, are important considerations for you.

And clarifying the role of the board in this enterprise is another must.

Paying attention to these elements will help get your fundraising strategy off to a strong start!

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