All About Nonprofit Fundraising

This topic in the Library will help nonprofit leaders and staff learn to understand the various/varied elements of fundraising, to recognize the importance of the relationship between an organization and its potential donors, and to construct and implement a strong fundraising plan/program for their nonprofits. In addition, much of the subject matter in this topic will help nonprofit leaders and staff recognize what it is that they don't know about fundraising, and how to remedy that situation.

Be sure to also see the following blogs and the many posts published in the blogs:
Library's Fundraising Blog and Nonprofits.

Sections of This Topic Include

Fundraising Basics
Are You Ready for Fundraising?
Fundraising Laws and Ethics
Fundraising Leadership: Board, Development Directors and Others
Development Staff: Defining, Hiring, Evaluating and Firing
Direct Appeals
Grants: Foundation and Corporate
Grants: Government (Public Grants)
Special Events
Annual Funds
Major Gifts and Planned Giving
Capital Campaign and Endowment Fundraising
Fundraising Online (including social media, online malls, corporations that accept online proposals)
Fundraising Software
Donor Communications, Feedback and Recognition
Fundraising Planning (Tying It All Together)
Hiring Fundraisers and Paid Solicitors
Evaluating Your Fundraising Knowledge and Practices

Related -- But Sometimes Not Necessarily Related -- Topics (Social Enterprise, Pro Bono, Sponsorships, Revenue Streams)

General Resources
Library's Fundraising Blog

Additional Resources

Free, Online, Self-Paced Program to Completely Build/Strengthen Your Nonprofit
Basic Guide to Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing
Nonprofit Grantseeking Resources

Also see
Related Library Topics

Fundraising Basics

Fundraising (Wikipedia)
A Basic Philosophy
Types of Fundraising
Fundraising or Not Fundraising? That is the Question
Getting the Donor to Want to Give
Fundraising Fundamentals
Overview of Nonprofit Fundraising Sources and Approaches
Charity Fundraising Ideas
"Development" is NOT a synonym for "Fundraising"
Hank's Top Ten Fundraising "Musts" 1-5
Hank's Top Ten Fundraising "Musts" 6-10
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Donors
Research Shows New Dos and Don'ts of Fundraising
What Is A Mature Fundraising Organization?
Do's and Don't's of Fundraising
Return on Investment for Fundraising
Fundraising in the Insecure Economy (2008-2010)
Fundraising: If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get
Five Great Fundraisers
Who Is Responsible For Fundraising At An NPO?
Is the CFRE Credential Worth the Time and Money?
Direct Mail, Donor Acquisition and Evaluating A Development Officer
Fundraising for New Nonprofits
Designing An “Ask Package”
5 Keys to Pulling out of the Economic Nosedive
How To Better Manage Your Grant Program
“Philanthropy,” An Often Misused Term
Fundraising: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get 2
Your Grantsmanship Team: Who’s on First?
You Can’t Just Ask For Money !!
To Pursue or Not Pursue Funding: That is The Question
Asking for the Smaller Gifts
’Development’ And ‘Fundraising’ Are Not Synonymous
Using Graphics in Your Proposals (Part 1)
Using Graphics in Your Proposals (Part 2)

Fundraising Laws and Ethics


Unified Registration Statement
New Form 990 Makes Fundraising Registration Unavoidable
Asking for Donations? Be Sure You're Properly Registered
Tax-Exempt Organizations and Gaming
Recording Year-End Checks/Gifts to Nonprofits


Frequently Asked Questions About Fundraising Ethics
Fundraising Ethics: A Selected Resource List
Test Your Fundraising Ethics
Fundraising Ethics -- Clarifying The Language
Fundraising Ethics
Financial Advisers and the Non-Profit Sector
Fundraising Ethics Revisited

Also see
Business Ethics

Fundraising Leadership: Board and Other Volunteers

Fundraising: Leadership vs. Management
Leadership: The Board's "Mythunderstood" Role in Fundraising
The Non-Profit Advisory Board/Committee
Honorary Board Members: Truth and Consequences
Planning Advice to Development Officers When Making a Major Gift Call with Board Members and Volunteers
Role of the Fundraising Committee
Fundraising and The New Executive Director
Major Donor on The Board
Establishing Rewarding Fundraising Partnerships
Who Is Responsible For Fundraising At An NPO?
The Board … And Fundraising
Nonprofit Boards: Directors vs Trustees
A New Nonprofit, A New Board, and The Grants Process
Praise for the Professional Director of Development
How Many “Hats” Can A Nonprofit Professional Wear?
“Give, Get or Get Off” — Revisited
Reasons Not to Combine Fundraising and Marketing Committees

Also see
Boards of Directors

Development Staff: Defining, Hiring, Evaluating and Firing

Does Your Organization Need a Director of Development?
Does Your Organization Have A Director of Development Who Isn't....??
Who Should You Hire to be Your Director of Development?
Development and Program Refuse to Play in the Same Sandbox
Fundraising and the NPO Staff – Further Thoughts
Direct Mail, Donor Acquisition and Evaluating A Development Officer
Another Director of Development Who Isn’t
Staffing The Development Office
The Role of The Development Office
Contingent-Pay for Development Staff
A Salary Question – For Someone New to Development
Follow Eight Core Ideas to be a Great Grants Proposal Manager!

Also see
Employee Performance Management

Direct Appeals

Direct Mail Fundraising (Wikipedia)
How To Write The Perfect Fundraising Letter
Energize Your Fundraising Direct Mail with These 11 Powerful Emotions
Advice on direct-mail fundraising appeals
Fundraising Letter Writing Tips from Readers Digest
Direct Mail Fundraising is a Program, Not a Campaign
Fundraising tips from Fund$Raiser
Deleting Names From Your Mailing/Solicitation List
QR Codes and When Not to Use Them

Grants: Foundation and Corporate

Grant Readiness
Getting Started
Rating and Evaluating Prospects: Whom Do You Ask For How Much
Grants: Free Money -- Not Quite!! (Part 1)
Grants: Free Money -- Not Quite!! (Part 2)
Grants Are Not Gifts
Grant Seeking by the Book (Part 1 of 2)
Grant Seeking by the Book (Part 2 of 2)
Impress Funders With Your Grant Proposal
Constructing An Effective Grant Proposal (First Part of a Series)
How to write a nonprofit grant proposal
How to Develop a Grant Proposal Writing Process
Writing a Case for Support That Inspires
key considerations when developing a computer system proposal
4 Things to Include When Writing a Report to Your Funders
Impress Funders with Your Grant Proposal: Target Your Outcomes
Grant Writing for Non-Profits
Grant Writing Tips for the Unprepared
Samples and Templates for Nonprofit Organizations
Funding for Technology Ask for the Right Thing and Connect to Your Mission
Donor Centric Grantsmanship
Private, and Corporate, and Family Foundations! Oh, My!
If You’ve Met One Type of Grant, You’ve Met Them All
The Combined Federal Campaign: Debunking The Myths
Prospecting for Foundation Gold
Top 20 Items For A Successful Grant
Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Gloom of Night…
Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You
Going Over The Head Of A Foundation Program Officer
The Dog Ate My Foundation Report…
Your Best Foundation Funder is not your Best Funder Forever
What Is Your Grant Win Rate? What Should It Be?
Corporate Giving: Foundation Grants vs. Sponsorships
Is Your Organization Ready to Start a Grants Program … or Even Submit your First Proposal? (Part 1)
Is Your Organization Ready to Start a Grants Program … or Even Submit your First Proposal? (Part 2)
Cultivating The Grantor (Part 1)
Cultivating The Grantor (Part 2)

Grants Management

Grants management is about using the grant as the grantor intended, and reporting to the grantor on a periodic basis. The guidelines and procedures for managing specific grants depend very much on the terms of the grantor. The following links give you some idea of what's generally involved in managing grants.
Managing Public Grants
Improving the Grant Management Process (for federal grants)

Designing Evaluation Methodologies to Include in Your Grants

Funders expect nonprofits to say how they will spend the funder's money and do so in an effective fashion -- and be able to prove that they spent the money in an effective fashion. Usually that proof requires an evaluation. Thus, funders often want nonprofits to include in their grant requests, descriptions of how they will evaluate the project being funded by the grants. The reader would benefit from reading:
Basic Guide to Program Evaluation

Grants: Government (Public Grants)

Introduction to Government Grants
Understand How to Apply for Government Grants
Proposal Writing and Government Grants
Searching for Federal Government Grants
Acquiring Public Grants
Understanding Federal Grant Announcements
Federal Grants: To Apply or Not to Apply….
Federal Grants: A Pre-Application Financial Checklist
Start your Federal Grant Proposal Process…
The Combined Federal Campaign: Debunking The Myths
What is the CFC and Where to Apply: The Nuts & Bolts
Start your Gov’t Grant Proposal with a Great Kick-Off Meeting
The CFC is the Most Donor Friendly Means of Giving
Developing Strong Win-Themes For Your Gov’t Grants
The Biggest Mistake that Nonprofits Make…
In The Combined Federal Campaign, Little Things Mean a Lot
Tell a Great Story in your Gov’t Grant Proposal!
Government Grants: Stepping Back from the Keyboard!
Staying Visible To Your CFC Donors … And To Everyone Else
Add Zip to your Government Grant Proposals!
The First Step in Applying for the Combined Federal Campaign:
A CFC Hint for National and International Charities … and Local NPOs
Applying for The CFC — National & International Nonprofits
Applying to The CFC — Local Charities
Minimize your Government-Grant-Proposal Risks!
The Importance of Executive Summaries in Government Grant Proposals
Don’t Let Your Grant Proposal Time Slip Away!
The CFC: Choosing Your Leadership Development Team
The CFC: Leadership Development & Charity Fairs
CFC and Planning for the Fall, Part I
CFC and Planning for the Fall, Part II
Managing a Geographically-Dispersed Grant-Proposal-Team
Plan and Organize Your Proposal before You Write
The CFC: Leveraging National Volunteer Week – April 15-21, 2012
Federal Grants — Write and Review !!
Write a Great Federal Grant Executive Summary!
The Combined Federal Campaign — 2011 Giving Greater than all but 13 Foundations
Your Federal Grant Proposals Should Not Be Clichés
How’d We Do In The Combined Federal Campaign ??
The Combined Federal Campaign — Let the Games Begin !!
Tips For a Successful Campaign … From My CFC Playbook
Why Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)

Also see
Grants: Foundation and Corporate
Grants: Government (above)
Grants Management (above)

Special Events

What Is A Special Event?
Special Events: So Misunderstood
How Do I Put Together an Effective Event Committee?
How Do I Get My Board to Do What They're Supposed to Do For Our Event?
Corporate Support of Special Events
HOW TO: Use Social Media to Enhance Your Event
Events to Remember; Events to Forget
10 Ways to Successfully Chair an Event
A Change of Pace
The New Rules of Event Marketing
To Auction or Not to Auction
Celebrity Auctions
How to Get the Best Crowd at Your Event
Special Events and the NPO Staff
Special Events: Cost Per Dollar Raised
Special Events: Two Perspectives
Events Are Team Efforts

Also see
Meeting Management

Annual Funds

The Annual Fund Is Obsolete
The Annual Fund Is Obsolete: Three Follow-Up Thoughts
Consulting Agreement For An Annual Fund Campaign

Major Gifts and Planned Giving

What is a Major Gift ?
What is a Major Gift Prospect?
We're Not In Oz, Dorothy: Why Your Donors Give
Major Gifts -- Ensuring The Future
Evaluating Your Major Gifts Prospects
Leadership for a Major Gifts Program (Part 1 of 2)
Leadership for a Major Gifts Program (Part 2 of 2)
Asking For The Major Gift -- Part 1 of 3
Asking For The Major Gift -- Part 2 of 3
Asking For The Major Gift -- Part 3 of 3
Major Gifts - Part I: Tips for Implementing a Major Gifts Program
Major Gifts - Part II: Considerations for Legal Compliance and Avoiding Lawsuits
Looking Forward -- Major Gifts in the New Year
So, You Want To Raise The Money To Build A Playground !! #1
So, You Want To Raise The Money To Build A Playground !! #2
Using Gift Clubs to Encourage Major Gifts
Are Major Gifts Annual Gifts ??
Major Gifts Committee Member Job Description
Not All Large Gifts Are Major Gifts: Part One – How Not To Go About It
Not All Large Gifts Are Major Gifts: Part Two – Go-Away Money
Looking Forward: Major Gifts In The New Year
Major Gift Fundraising – A Three-Legged Stool
Who Moved My Funder?
Major Gift Strategies that Work

Capital Campaign and Endowment Fundraising

Capital Campaign Stages and Phases
Capital Campaigns
The Role of Grants in the Capital Campaign
Phases of a Capital Campaign
Hiring a Consultant for a Campaign Planning Study
Capital Campaign Cost Accounting
Mobilizing Public Will for Social Change
After The Campaign Is Over…
A Future Capital Campaign: A Reader’s Questions

Issues and Opportunities in Endowment Fundraising
How to Start an Endowment
Endowment "Campaigns"

Capital Campaigns Part 1: What They Are
Capital Campaigns Part 2: What They're Not
Capital Campaigns Part 3: Are You Ready For A Capital Campaign??... A Quick Checklist
Capital Campaigns Part 4: More Than Raising Money
Capital Campaigns Part 5: Choosing Your Campaign Objectives
Capital Campaigns Part 6: Structuring The "Basic" Campaign
Capital Campaigns Part 7: Beginning the Extended Campaign
Capital Campaigns Part 8: Beyond The Organizational Family
Capital Campaigns Part 9: Leadership
Capital Campaigns Part 10: Structuring the Solicitation Process
Capital Campaigns Part 11: The Lower-Rated Prospects
Capital Campaigns Part 12: Soliciting the Lowest-Rated Prospects
Capital Campaigns Part 13: Campaign Publicity
Capital Campaigns Part 14: Recognizing Your Leaders and Donors

Fundraising Online Using the Internet/Web

This topics has exploded! It would be extremely difficult to list most of the articles and sites in regard to this topic. Thanks to Jayne Cravens for suggesting many of the following sites!)

Basics and Getting Started

Online Fundraising: A Startup Guide
Elementary E-Philanthropy
Charity Begins Online
A New Way to Give Sites let people donate to charity while surfing, shopping online
Fundraiser Ideas
How Much Money Should You Be Raising Online?
Online Tools for Web 2.0 Fundraising
Online Giving: Audit Your Own Website (Part 1)
Online Giving: Audit Your Own Website (Part 2)
Web Gifts – Getting the Whole Pie
Thanking Your Online Donors
FaceBooking Your Organization
A Strategy for Online Fundraising Auctions
Google Changed the Search Engine Rules
Demonstrating Board Leadership with Social Media
Mobile Fundraising: Practical Advice

Also see
Computers, Internet and Web

Using Email and Social Media in Fundraising

Fundraising Via Email -- Truth or Hype
Testing Email Campaigns
How a Non Profit Successfully Raised Funds Using a Social Media-A-Thon
Send Money from Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourced Fundraising: Empowering the Multitudes and Raising Big Bucks For Charity!
Fundraising Platforms: Is Three a Crowd?
The Best Week Of The Year
How Good Email Helps Direct Mail Results
Measuring Your Email Success: Part 1 - Individual Email Results
Measuring Your Email Success: Part 2 - Your Overall Program
Social Media Enhance Email Success
Email Quality Matters – and Each Mistake Costs $40 … or more !!

Also see
Social Networking

Fundraising Resources On the Net

web-based grant applications

Online Donation Services, eg, Credit Card services and Matching Programs

Online Donation Engine Providers (fee comparison table)
Weighing Your Options for Processing Donations Online

Online Shopping Malls that Donate to Nonprofits

Profiting from Nonprofits (includes review of numerous malls)
90 companies that provide means for on-line donations

General Resources About Online Fundraising

Online Fundraising: The Beginner?s Guide for Nonprofits
Is Online Fundraising a Bad Idea?
How to Thank an Online Donor

Fundraising Software

Fundraising Software Products
Fundraising Software - Comprehensive Directory
Comprehensive Nonprofit Software Listing

Donor Communications and Recognition

Donor Recognition vs. Donor Privacy
Donor Recognition (to Boost Capital Campaign Results)
The Art of Recognizing and Thanking Donors
Donor Recognition
Donor Recognition: Balancing Modesty and Smart Fundraising Seven Ways
Listening to Donors
Donor Thank You Letters: Ten Tips for Thanking Donors
Gift Clubs: What They Are And Aren't
How to Write the Perfect Thank You Letter
Making a Scene: The Recipe for a Great Fundraising Letter
Can A Donor Demand That She Get Her Donation Back?
Donor (And Solicitor) Burn-Out
Separation of Church and Nonprofit
Saying “Thanks… And…” via Email
What Do They Do With My Contributions??
A Low-Cost Way to Thank Supporters
6 Ways to Thank Your Donors
Creating the “Perfect Donor Experience”
Winning Back Those Lapsed Donors – Part One
Winning Back Those Lapsed Donors – Part Two
A Variety of Thoughts on Donor Recognition

Fundraising Planning (Tying It All Together)

The Planning Study: (Part #1 of 3 -- Almost Always The First Step)
The Planning Study: (Part #2 of 3 -- Preparation)
The Planning Study: (Part #3 of 3 -- Implementation)
Constructing The Gift Table
How to Use The Gift Table
The Feasibility Study is Obsolete
Another Reason Why I Object To Feasibility Studies (Part #1 of 2)
Another Reason Why I Object To Feasibility Studies (Part #2 of 2)
6 Steps to an Annual Fundraising Plan for a New Nonprofit
What Is A Development Plan
Creating Your Sustainability Plan
Planning For Organizational Survival (Part 1 of 2)
Planning For Organizational Survival (Part 2 of 2)
Improving/Expanding Your Fundraising Program
We Want To Do The Study Ourselves !!

Also see
Planning (Basics)

Hiring Fundraisers and Paid Solicitors

Should You Hire a Fundraiser?

Do's and Don't's of Hiring a Grantwriter
How to Hire Your First Development Director
Are Fundraising Professionals Stupid?
Who/What Is A Fundraising Consultant?
Hiring a Consultant for a Campaign Planning Study
We’re Heading Into a Major Campaign…
Outsourcing Prospect Research
Is the CFRE Credential Worth the Time and Money?
Fundraising Consultants & Credibility: Some Thoughts
Professional Fund Raiser vs. Fundraising Professional
Professional Fund Raisers & Up Front Fees
Corporate-Fundraising Consultants

Also see
Consultants (Hiring)

If So, How Much Should They Be Paid?

The Argument Against Paying Development Professionals Based Upon The Amount Of Funds Raised
How Do You Pay A Fundraiser???

If You're Asked to Be a Fundraiser

To Consult, Or Not To Consult - That Is The Question ...
Beginning A Career In Non-Profit Fund-Raising
How Fertile Is The Fundraising Hiring “Field” For You?

Potential Pitfalls with the IRS

You should carefully consider whether you should hire an outside fundraiser, or hire your own employee. The IRS pays increasing attention to the hiring of independent contractors.
Potential Issues in Hiring Consultants (general information and IRS-related issues)

Evaluating Your Fundraising Knowledge and Practices

To conduct a general audit of your fundraising practices, see Fundraising Indicators.
The Fallacy Of Financial Ratios: Why Outcome Evaluation Is The Better Gauge Of Grant Worthiness
Campaign Assessment And Review: What Was Accomplished And What Was Learned
Hiding Major Donors’ Names From Funders

Also see
Evaluations (all kinds)

Related -- But Sometimes Not Necessarily Related -- Topics (Social Enterprise, Pro Bono, Sponsorship, Revenue Streams)

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise
Should Your Organization Sell Products And Services To Raise Money?
Philanthropy as a Business Model?
Do Foundations Support Social Enterprise?

Gifts of Other Than Money

Pro Bono Services for Your Organization
In-Kind Gifts: How to Acknowledge and Recognize Them


How to Start a Cause-Marketing Campaign

Corporate Sponsorships

Sponsorships and Underwriting Campaigns
Succeeding With Sponsorships - a Review
How Can I Find Corporate Sponsorships?
Corporate Support of Special Events

Building Multiple Revenue Sources (Diversifying Revenue Streams)

Building Multiple Revenue Sources
An Overview of Revenue Streams for Nonprofit Arts Organizations

General Resources

Variety of Information for Beginners

Learning Institute for Nonprofit Organizations's
Samples and Templates for Nonprofit Organizations
School for International Training
Peerbackers (source of funding)
Creating An Advisory Council
When I Forgot the Meaning of Philanthropy
High Net Worth Individual Philanthropy – Especially Women
The Fire-Belly, Mountain-Climbing, Social Media-Using Next Generation Donor
Naming Opportunities and Bequests
The Shipley Proposal Guide 4.0 – A Book Review
Lessons To Be Learned From the For-Profit Sector
Naming Opportunities – The Basics
Organizing/Reorganizing an All-Volunteer Nonprofit

Variety of Information for More Experienced Practitioners

Foundation Center's Grantmakers site
Grantsmanship Center
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Online Fundraising Training Center
Cause-Related Marketing (aspect of Social Entrepreneurship)
Grantsmanship: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A Four-step Process for Effective Grantsmanship
Accounting for Fundraising: Recording the Gift/Expense
Strategic & Development Planning: Love and Marriage
Polish Your Communication and Fundraising Skills with Your Strategic Plan

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