Top 10 Fundraising Tips

Earlier tonight, I met with several folks from the Bike Kitchen and helped them brainstorm some fundraising strategies for their fantastic organization.  They were already on the right track because they had five folks from the organization there ready to roll up their sleeves and help raise funds, including some volunteers, a board member and their staff person.  During our time together, I mentioned some of my top 10 tips for Fundraising and want to share a summary of this list for you:

1. Ask: Your job is to ask. The person you ask – their job is to decide.

2. Thank: The most important words in fundraising are “Thank you”. Thanking donors affirms their gift.

3.  Build relationships: People give to people. Remember to build relationships with your donors.

4.  It’s an ongoing process: The folks who are most likely to give large gifts to your organizations are folks who already give.

5.  You might get nine “no’s” before a “yes”: Don’t be afraid if someone you ask says no. Thank them for considering.

6.  Develop your case first: Before you start asking for money, it’s important that you have a strong case for your organization.

7.  Research, Network and Cultivate: Constantly work to develop potential new donors.

8.  Diversify your funding base: Seek to raise funds from multiple sources: individuals, events, foundation grants, government grants and earned-income.

9.  Diversify your fundraisers: Fundraising generates the strongest results when lots of people in the organization are involved in the process.

10.  It’s an ongoing learning process: We learn fundraising by doing it. I wish you the best as you move forward.

I will elaborate on these in future blog posts and wish all of you the best as raise funds for whatever organizations you are affiliated with in 2010.  I also welcome any suggestions you have to raise money for nonprofit organizations.  Thanks!

About Ron Milam

I work to build the capacity of organizations and collaborative change initiatives in Southern California through facilitation, training and coaching. I specialize in the areas of organization development, collaboration, strategic planning, team building, board development and fundraising. Since 2005, I have served over 145 organizations.
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