Before a nonprofit organization embarks on planning a fundraising campaign it needs to assess its readiness to seek support. Does it have the resources, opportunity, and self understanding to successfully fundraise? What is the value proposition it will take to potential donors? Is it visible enough within its community to even get a hearing? How strong, concise, and clear is its statement of mission?
Those are just a few of the questions that must be answered before a nonprofit embarks on a fundraising campaign. An organization ready to fundraise needs to have an involved and committed board willing to lead the way. It needs to have identified and validated a base of supporters.
Before a nonprofit even starts to plan a campaign, it needs to have an overall fundraising plan.
Articles about Fundraising Readiness
The biggest fundraising problem facing smaller nonprofit organizations is board makeup. An organization’s board is its top level constituency—its first circle of community. A nonprofit’s community is comprised of concentric circles like the rings that ripple outward...read more
Every fundraising opportunity has three categories of costs. One is obvious, the second is obscured by the opportunity itself, and the third is investment inherent in the structure of an organization. The first is always considered when deciding whether to pursue an...read more
As we enter the final days of the Holiday giving season, a question occurs to me. It's one all nonprofit development officers who expected this season to yield increased giving over last should ask themselves: Was I prepared? Come January it’s tempting to sit back and...read more
A nonprofit organization’s mission statement should be its principal case for support—the main reason why anybody should ever consider donating to the organization. Every other statement a nonprofit makes about its good works past, present, or future should derive...read more
What Do You Know About Your Donors and What Do They Know About Your Organization? If we're going to ask people for money, it sure helps if they think highly of both our organization and its mission. Do they see our mission as vital and valid? Are we perceived as being...read more
Introduction I have presented fund-raising workshops in many countries outside North America during a professional career of more than 35 years. I have also presented fund-raising workshops to numerous foreign visitors in the United States who were representing...read more
Introduction Are you working on a fund-raising plan—or planning to? When seeking to construct a plan for a fund-raising campaign, the persons charged by their non-profit organizations with that responsibility often ask for a plan "boilerplate," or a "template,"...read more
All fund-raising campaigns must begin with a realization that the organization needs money, usually voiced to the person charged with fund-raising as, "We need to raise $________." The amount varies, but once accepted it becomes the Goal. Whether the effort is to be...read more
When it comes to fund-raising, there are truths and myths. The truths illuminate the path to success. The myths speak with the dark voice of "conventional wisdom" of what can't be done and won't work. Throughout my career I have had to overcome three myths of...read more
We read in all of the right publications and we are told by the experts that a non-profit organization's mission statement should be contained on the back of a business card, declared in as few words as possible on the organization's letterhead, etc.—and even, as a...read more
You start the process of becoming a fund-raiser for an organization when you first become involved with the organization. That's when you begin to acquire knowledge about an organization, and acquisition of knowledge is the first step in preparing to raise money. To...read more
For many people, fund-raising is the stuff of myth and magic---a series of tasks rivaling the labors of Hercules and demanding the powers of a Merlin. Myth and magic, because they offer the balm of simple acceptance in place of the pain of comprehension, can be very...read more
The nine basic truths of fund-raising listed below are taken from the introduction to my book It's a Great Day to Fund-Raise, and they are the foundation of my successful career as a development officer for and consultant to nonprofit organizations. Organizations are...read more