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Resource + Fund Development

Nonprofit organizations play an important societal role in serving as the vehicle by which philanthropy occurs. They act as the intermediary between donors and beneficiaries and have an ethical obligation to ensure proper handling of funds to carry out their missions. Nonprofit fundraising should be conducted according to the highest ethical standards with regard to solicitation, acceptance, recording, reporting and use of funds. Nonprofits should adopt clear policies for fundraising activities to ensure responsible use of funds for designated purposes, and open, transparent communication with donors and other constituents.
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Appeal Letters: Tips & Samples
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
For many nonprofits, a direct mail appeal is an important part of their annual fundraising strategy. The following articles have tips, tools and samples for writing effective fundraising letters and annual appeals.
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
Fundraising support organization and the best source for legal and ethical fundraising information which provides resources including guides, articles, job board, publications, discussion boards and consultant directory.
Beyond Cash: A Guide for How Nonprofit Boards Can Tap Pro Bono and In-kind Resources.
A user-friendly guide with how-tos for CEOs, board members and potential members on making the most of in-kind and pro bono resources.
Beyond Financial Oversight: Expanding the Board’s Role in the Pursuit of Sustainability
Nonprofit Quarterly
This article examines the role of the board of directors in establishing organizational sustainability.
Board Giving Expectations
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
It is important for nonprofits to set and communicate clear expectations for board members about their role in giving and raising money. The following resources offer advice and samples for structuring board giving expectations, which can vary widely from organization to organization. Some articles advise nonprofits to strive to have 100% of board members donate (even a nominal amount), but increasingly this practice/expectation is called into question in recognition that these types of giving/fundraising expectations can perpetuate inequities in who is invited to sit on boards, how they are included, and how their contributions honored. The practice of foundations or others asking what percentage of board members give as a shortcut to understanding if board members are engaged and committed to the mission is becoming uncommon. Ultimately, it is a question for each board to determine within the context of their organization’s goals, values, culture and resource development plan.
Boards That Love Fundraising: Specific Responsibilities
Zimmerman Lehman
Strategies for involving board in resource and fund development activities.
Charity Auctions
Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
A thorough overview of issues to consider when planning an auction, including charitable solicitation rules, risk and insurance issues, tax and reporting considerations, and donor acknowledgements.
Chronicle of Philanthropy
National newspaper connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs and ideas.
Code of Ethical Online Philanthropic Practices
This resource outlines ethical practices related to online fundraising.
Code of Ethics
Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
Many nonprofits and foundations develop a statement of values and code of ethics to help guide their policies, decision making and operations. The process of developing values and a code of ethics can prompt rich conversation. The following resource provide a suggested process as well as samples from other organizations that can be used as a starting point.
Commission-Based Pay
The practice of paying grantwriters and other contractors on commission is not recommended and has serious ethical and equity-based issues. The following make the case against this practice.
Community-Centric Fundraising
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Research/Report, Video/Tutorial
Community-Centric Fundraising is a movement to evolve how fundraising is done in the nonprofit sector. Its goal is to support fundraisers and other nonprofit professionals to re-examine every fundraising philosophy and practice they have been taught, engage in vigorous ongoing conversations, and explore doing fundraising in ways that reduce harm and further social justice.
Cryptocurrency Donations
There are pros and cons to accepting donations in cryptocurrency. The following articles can help nonprofits navigate this decision.
Donor Management Software
These articles will help you assess the donor management software options available to you, and navigate discounted options through TechSoup.
Donor Stewardship + Retention
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool
Relationship-building is a critical element of fundraising. How do you not just attract donors, but build that relationship over time, ensuring that they continue to support your mission? This collection of articles provides suggestions on how to bring a philosophy of donor stewardship to your fundraising efforts.
Donor-Advised Funds
Donor-advised funds have been a mainstay of community foundations for generations, but in the last decade or so their popularity has exploded. That surge has been driven in large part by financial-services companies entering the field and spinning off charitable arms to manage such funds. Individuals who open these accounts, which are invested and can continue to increase in value, may make a contribution and within the same year take a tax deduction, but then wait as long as they wish to direct the money to charity.

Soliciting, accepting, and acknowledging gifts from Donor-Advised Funds requires nonprofits to adapt some of their standard practices. The following resources can help nonprofits understand how to navigate this complex system.
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
Is your organization considering creating an endowment? Endowments are one way to create sustainability for your organization to continue its mission, but are not the right fit for everyone. These articles outline common myths, and provide suggestions organizations should consider when creating and managing endowments.
Equitable Grantmaking
Article/Blog, Guide/Tool, Organization/Agency
The following articles and tools reflect a range of perspectives and advice on how grantmaking can be more equitable.
Finding and Managing Consultants and Vendors
The following resources will help you find and manage consultants and vendors, whether for a defined project, or ongoing support. If you need a referral for support on fundraising, strategic planning, legal issues, accounting issues, meeting facilitation, technology, or any other outside support, start here. (Many of the consultants and vendors in the MANP Business Finder offer nonprofit rates.)
Fired Up Fundraising
Gail Perry
Find free fundraising tools, sign up for free weekly tips by email, access webinars, and find many blog posts and articles about engaging your board in fundraising.
Foundation Center
Foundation directory and fundraising management support organization providing resources such as a foundation directory, knowledge center, and newsletters.
Funding Them to Fish: The Case for Supporting the Earned Income Activities of Nonprofits
Social Enterprise Alliance
Arguments for the merits of nonprofit earned income strategies, as well as an overview of key terms related to social enterprise.
Fundraising Appeal Speech Template
Alyson Ball,
A tool to help board members prepare for fundraising appeals and presentations.
Fundraising Communications Toolkit for Board Members
Fundraising is a key responsibility of nonprofit board members, but in order to be successful, they must have the appropriate tools. This toolkit helps board members communicate with potential donors by providing concise, easily-digestible information about the organization, including: talking points about the organization; key selling points of the organization; outcomes, evaluation, and effectiveness; and stories and testimonials.
Getting Started with Planned Gifts
Planned gifts, which combine estate-planning concepts with what are often major charitable gifts, come in many shapes and forms. Some planned gifts are made to organizations after a donor’s death, while others provide a charity with assets while allowing donors to earn an income for a period of time during their life. Sometimes called legacy gifts, these donations have the potential to help sustain organizations’ budgets and futures. Successful planned-giving programs enable nonprofits to generate significant gifts from donors who may not have the ability to give sizable amounts of cash right away.
Gift Acceptance Policies
Article/Blog, Sample/Template
Form 990 asks organizations to indicate whether they have adopted a gift acceptance policy, and while it is not required, the IRS may increase their scrutiny of returns from organizations that have not adopted recommended policies. These resources provide a thorough overview of the importance of gift acceptance policies, what to consider when drafting one, and sample policies for organizations to use as a starting point.
Giving Days
Guide/Tool, Sample/Template
These resources provide information about different models for these types of fundraising events, as well as practical advice, examples and ready-to-use tools such as checklists and templates to help nonprofit organizations host their own one day fundraiser or "giving day", including ways to provide giving incentives such as prizes and games.  Resources include planning, marketing and outreach, implementation and evaluation.
Support organization created by the Ford Foundation providing resources to both grantmakers and grantseekers including guides, case studies, videos, and tools.
Federal government grants directory and application website.
Grantsmanship Center
Grantseeker support organization providing resources such as an extensive list of publications for grant writers and nonprofit managers, funder listings, and periodic trainings.
Grantseeker support organization providing resources such as weekly feature article, searchable database of grantmakers, and good membership benefits (e.g. grantseeker's toolkit). MANP members can access a GrantStation membership at a significant discount!
In-Kind Donations
These articles provide information about in-kind donations, recommendations on drafting policies and procedures to get the most out of these contributions, and accounting considerations
IRS Publication 1771: Charitable Contributions Substantiation & Disclosure Requirements
This guide explains the federal tax law for charities that receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and for taxpayers who make contributions. The guide includes includes the rules pertaining to, and helpful examples of, quid pro quo donations.
IRS Publication 557: Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization
Detailed guide with information on most types of tax exemption, including rules and restrictions related to fundraising and lobbying.
IRS Publication 561: Determining Value of Donated Property
This IRS publication outlines how to determine the value of various kinds of donated property for the purposes of determining tax deductions.
Lisa Simpson for Nonprofits: What Science Can Teach You About Fundraising, Marketing and Making Social Change
Network for Good, SeaChange Strategies
A thought-provoking and accessible publication to help you increase the impact of your fundraising and marketing efforts.
Maine Data Scan
Data Innovation Project
The Data Scan is a repository of accessible, free, reputable, and relevant data sources from around the State of Maine to help nonprofit organizations find data to inform their program planning, strategic planning and grant writing.
Maine Planned Giving Council
The Maine Planned Giving Council (MPGC) is a statewide, independent, public charity created to encourage charitable giving in Maine through planned giving. The organization offers events & webinars, suggested resources, and information on ethics & standards.
Maine Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act
State of Maine
As outlined in our Guiding Principles + Practices, nonprofits have a legal and ethical obligation to expend grant and donor funds responsibly (including those managed through an endowment) and to ensure that funds are dispensed according to the funders’ wishes and requirements, in accordance with the Maine Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act.
Measuring Fundraising Effectiveness
This free toolkit provides nonprofits with a framework for measuring their fundraising effectiveness. The framework outlines three primary measures, which together, provide a much more complete picture of an organization’s fundraising health. The toolkit includes a summary, discussion guide for boards, and tools for applying the measures to your organization.
National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)
Association of state offices charged with oversight of charitable organizations in the United States. Federal and state-specific information available on this site.
Network for Good
Fundraising support organization that aims to increase fundraising effectiveness through technology. Resources include: online fundraising tools and strategies, technology frequently asked questions, and volunteer recruitment assistance.
Nonprofit Earned Income Strategies: Where to Start
Social Enterprise Associates
This guide outlines a process for assessing whether earned income is an appropriate strategy for your nonprofit and how to get started.
Nonprofit Raffles + Gaming
Information about the legal requirements and restrictions for raffles and games of chance, which are popular formats for fundraisers. Familiarize yourself with these rules, regulations and laws before you plan a fundraiser of this type.
Online Donation Tools
Guide/Tool, Research/Report
What tools can help you collect donations via credit card through your existing website?  This article breaks down the options, what features are available, and a set of software tools that might work well for you.
Philanthropy Journal
The Philanthropy Journal is a program of the Institute for Nonprofits at NC State University in Raleigh, N.C. delivering news, resources, announcements and job listings via daily website updates and free, weekly email bulletins.
Pricing Guide: A Resource For Community-Based Organizations to Value and Price Services
SCAN Foundation
With increased pressure for nonprofits to diversify funding sources, many are exploring earned income strategies. This guide was developed to help organizations understanding different pricing models and set the prices and rates on their products and services.
Risk Management Strategies for Serving Alcohol at Events
21 Reasons
Many nonprofits host fundraising, recognition or networking events. This guide is designed to help manage the risk of serving alcohol at your event by recommending policies/practices which will protect attendees and your organization. The guide includes details about Maine law and a helpful planning checklist.
Sample Final Financial Report for Grant Awards
William A. Bayreuther Grantwriting
Most grantors require a final project report, including a financial report. The attached sample illustrates a final financial report outlining budgeted expenses, actual expenses and the expenses allocated to that particular funding source.
Sample Organizational Operating Budget
William A. Bayreuther Grantwriting
This Excel spreadsheet provides a sample and template for outlining a nonprofit annual operating budget for grant request purposes.
Sample Project Proposal Budgets
William. A. Bayreuther Grantwriting
Most foundations and corporate funders require organizations to submit a project budget with their grant application. William A. Bayreuther Grantwriting has provided complementary samples of proposal budgets for a 1 year project, 2 year project and a capacity building request.
Sound Advice for Functions + Events
Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, and Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California
This guide outlines tips to help nonprofits have safer events, including tips on event planning, legal considerations, and how to handle the situation should an accident occur. The guide also includes sample planning checklists and forms, such as a sample waiver.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Management support organization for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses which provides articles, strategies, tools, podcasts and training.
Starting Off Right: What New 501(c)(3) Organizations Need to Know
This recorded IRS webinar helps new nonprofits stay legally compliant. It covers annual filing requirements, what records to maintain, what  to do to meet the "operational test", how to avoid jeopardizing 501(c)(3) status, and what tools are available for tax compliance as an organization grows.
The Limitations of Social Enterprise
Seedco Policy Center
Report on the downsides to social enterprise initiatives and the over-promotion of these entities.
Vehicle Donations
These resources outline the implications for your nonprofit's tax exemption when accepting a donated used car, as well as tips for determining whether to accept a vehicle donation.
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