Fundraising: A Fall Resource Round-Up
Fall brings a sense of renewed purpose along with the beautiful leaves, crunchy apples and cozy sweaters. For those of us in the nonprofit world, this renewed purpose is often born out of passion for our charitable work, the flip side of which is the need to raise money to pay for it.
It’s unlikely that very many nonprofit board members or staff would cite asking for money as a their favorite part of their work, but I would hazard that most would say they enjoy building relationships, telling stories of positive impact, thinking strategically, and contributing to an organization’s ability to change lives and improve communities. These things are what fundraising is ultimately about.
To help you along your fundraising path, here is a round-up of recent articles and information.
Keeping It Legal
- Make sure you know whether your organization needs to be licensed as a charitable solicitor or exempt charitable solicitor (yes – both require licenses). Read MANP’s white paper on fundraising and charitable solicitation, and note that renewals of current licenses are due November 30th.
- Trying to make use of online fundraising techniques? Understand accounting and reporting considerations for online donations.
Get In Their Heads
In the spirit of know your audience…
- What makes the upcoming pool of donors – The Millenials – tick?
- Writing grants? Then you’ve probably asked yourself ‘what are private foundations thinking’? Find out!
- Personal meetings with potential donors can have big results. If you’re going to invest the time, make sure you know your donors and use these 5 steps for effective conversations.
- Don’t forget the heads of the beneficiaries of your work – what do they think of the ways you represent them when you fundraise? Ask yourself how your constituents/clients could be involved.
Hone Your Message
Nothing is worse than getting to the end of an article/presentation/proposal and having no idea what the person was trying to say. So why is it when we write something ourselves, we feel the need to dress up our language to the point of obscuring our message?
- In one of my favorite articles of recent months, an appeal for more clarity in our writing, including tools for assessing the clarity of your own.
- Related, tips for streamlining your language and suggestions of jargon to avoid.
- Get the right request to the right people – learn about simple segmentation strategies.
- Ask the right person for the right amount – read good examples and tips to help you figure out how.
- Giving people choice is important, but craft those options carefully – are you choosing the right giving levels for online donations?
- Speaking of online fundraising, learn about 4 simple tactics to increase online giving and 6 goofs to avoid.
- Be creative – follow Unicef’s example and harness the power of images
- Launching a capital campaign? Discover 5 secrets of success.
- Fundraising events – a way to generate income and foster next generation leaders? (Also, if you’re planning event, don’t miss these 5 keys to a successful event and this booklet to help you make sure your event is safe and legal.)
Focus Inward – Build Your Skills
- Check out the Chronicle of Philanthropy “Fundraising Fundamentals” podcast (available via RSS or ITunes). Recent topics have included five words to help you raise more money, easy steps to attract online giving, and how to attract individuals to give.
- Sign up for a MANP SkillBuilder (discounted for MANP members!). Upcoming topics include both basic and intermediate grant writing, the board’s role in fundraising, and donor prospecting.
- Explore our Resource Library page on fundraising, and to learn about best practices from MANP’s Guiding Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Maine.
This list of resources is by no means comprehensive. What are your favorite fundraising tips & tricks? Sources of education and inspiration? Weigh in!