Strategic Fundraising For A Not-for-profit

In any given community there are a number of organizations that are known as not-for-profits. These not-for-profits go through a number of legal hoops to gain a status of being a 501(c) (3). One of the ways that a not-for-profit structure is different from their for-profit counterpart is the governing boards. The governing board of a not-for-profit receives no remuneration, but still provides governance and fiscal oversight to the operation.

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In addition, a not-for-profit functions, in any given community, to serve the needy population. Often these services are provided to the individuals in the community at no cost or based on a sliding fee. Therefore, not-for-profits are an integral part of any community.

However, as of late, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of not-for-profits. Although, there are many advantages to having an increased number of not-for-profits in the community, there is a significant disadvantage. This major disadvantage is the fact that funds are generally limited in any community and the not-for-profit must compete for the same limited charitable dollar.

Therefore, it is important that strategic fundraising be accomplished by not-for-profits to ensure survivability and to meet the needs of their clients. Three specific steps to strategic fundraising include the formation of a development committee, development training and a comprehensive development plan.

Formation Of A Development Committee

A development committee is a group of individuals that are recruited from the community that is served by the not-for-profit. This development committee can be comprised of both board members as well as non-board members.

To attain strategic fundraising the development committee should be comprised of a cross-section of individuals who bring different talents and resources to the mix. Therefore, the development committee should be made up of individuals who know people of wealth or who are people of wealth.

Also, marketing and public relations is an important part of delivering the not-for-profit message to the community to enhance their financial support. Therefore, individuals with marketing or media experience could serve on the development committee or work with the development committee by serving on a marketing committee.

Development Training

In order to be successful at any assigned task, it is important that individuals have the proper training and tools to be successful. Therefore, development staff and volunteers should be adequately trained in development procedures to accomplish strategic fundraising.

This development training can be accomplished by taking advantages of many seminars that are offered to not-for-profit to enhance their fundraising capabilities. Or, if there is no money set aside in the budget, then a possible suggestion of development training is to request training from a non-competing, but successful fundraising not-for-profit.

Comprehensive Strategic Fundraising Plan

Finally, for a not-for-profit to be involved in successful strategic fundraising it is important that the fund raising plan be comprehensive. This simply means that every stream of revenue be explored so that the optimum amounts of money can be raised to fulfill the not-for-profit’s mission statement.

There are basically seven streams of revenue that feed into a successful strategic fundraising plan. Those streams of revenue include major gifts, grants, participation in United Way, corporate gifts, special events, gifts-in-kind and mail appeal.