7 Strategies to Developing Funding Resources

By Michelle Long and Victoria Anglin, NP Voice

Earlier this year, Michelle and Victoria presented a workshop on “Resource Development for ‘Doers of Good’.” One of the things they covered was how to develop strong funding resources. Here are the seven strategies they shared.

Strategy 1: Individual Giving

  • Categorize, strategize, and incentivize to attract: 1. Major Gifts,   2. Mid-Level Donors, 3. Small Donors
  • Understand what motivates donors to give to you
  • Leverage internal resources: board and staff networks, existing associations and partnerships, mailing lists, etc.

Strategy 2: Corporate/Business Giving

  • Align with businesses that have a stake in your work/support your cause
  • Pursue organizations with headquarters in your community
  • Consider businesses that would want to advertise to your audience (sponsorship opportunities – in-kind or $$$)
  • Don’t forget about current and past vendors (bank, supply company, etc.), employers of board members, and board member networks
  • Engage with volunteers and develop relationships with potential donors

Strategy 3: Grants

  • Focus resources on highest percentage win opportunities
  • Need alignment of your needs/goals with grantmaking entity
  • Don’t mission creep or chase the money
  • Determine programs that are most attractive to funders/in sync with grantmakers funding priorities

Strategy 4: Events

  • Know your bandwidth and limitations
  • Secure sponsors to cover event costs
  • Consider the “optics”
  • Leverage event to strengthen brand and increase community awareness
  • Be honest about ALL costs – direct and indirect – to determine income
  • Lastly, DON’T solely rely on events!

Strategy 5: Earned Income

  • Revenue generated from sale of goods, services, or work performed
  • Revenue not taxable as long as activity aligns with purpose
  • Identify programs, products and services that organization already has in place that could appeal to consumers
  • Establish “fee for service or goods” revenue source
  • Leverage corporate and business relationships
  • Remember to communicate and promote opportunities

Strategy 6: Online Fundraising

  • Integrate into organization communications plan
  • Encourage networks to set up fundraising page
  • Execute a “flash fundraiser”
  • Host a social media sharing event
  • Have a donation match drive
  • Execute an interactive video fundraiser
  • Raise money through a Pinterest board

Strategy 7: Collaborative Fundraising

A joint effort of two or more groups to raise more money and resources than either group alone

  • Funders love collaboration
  • Do what you do best and partner for the rest
  • Combines reach and ecosystems of influence
  • Understand what each organization brings to the table
  • Achieving results from collaborative efforts take time
  • Establish MOU/MOA

Why is all this important? Because it helps you:

  • Build stronger relationships and raise more money
  • Be better fiscal stewards and improve accountability
  • Bring more partners into the process
  • Strengthen the organization, ensuring long-term sustainability
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