Develop Strategies for Resource Development

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One of the most dangerous traps an organization can fall into is an expectation that current sources of revenue will remain consistent and that previously successful fundraising strategies will remain fruitful and sufficient in uncertain economic times. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! One of the best ways to sustain your organization is to expand your potential revenue sources through developing a vast number of resources.

Seek in-kind contributions to offset expenses and improve organizational effectiveness.

Direct funds are usually your target, but in-kind contributions can help to offset expenses or improve organizational effectiveness. When targeting a donor, think about what else they might have to offer either instead of or in addition to cash gifts. Marketing assistance and/or space to hold an event are just two of many possibilities that you could suggest to appropriately-situated donors.

Recruit volunteers to cut staffing costs.

A well-managed group of volunteers can help you cut down on staffing costs and/or increase the quality or quantity of the services you provide. The following resources can assist you with volunteer recruitment:

      • has a manual for finding, training, and using volunteers.
      • allows you to register your organization as a nonprofit looking for particular types of volunteer assistance.
      • has helpful information about recruiting volunteers for nonprofits.
      • sets out ideas for using volunteers to provide assistance for your IT needs.

Identify and develop donors who share your interests and goals.

Donors don’t just come out of the woodwork. You need to take steps to find, engage, and cultivate both individuals and businesses who share your organization’s interests and goals. The key is to become relationship experts.

Seek grants from diverse sources to increase awareness of opportunities.

Foundations, corporations, and all levels of government are all potential sources of grants. By developing relationships at each level, you can increase your awareness of upcoming opportunities, as well as your likelihood of success when applying for grants.

Develop earned income strategies to ensure a reliable source of income.

By charging a small, below-market fee for the services you provide, you can ensure a reliable source of income for your organization. One strategy to achieve this is to implement a fee-for-service model. Also, the Grantsmanship Center runs an intensive workshop for nonprofits, geared at providing information about planning, developing, and growing an effective earned income program.

Cultivate planned giving arrangements to ensure long-term security.

Planned giving allows a donor to leave money or assets to a nonprofit at the time of his or her death. Although the benefit to the nonprofit is deferred, the promise of future income imparts a measure of long-term security.

Implement an endowment campaign to ensure future sources of income.

An endowment campaign is a fundraiser for the purpose of creating a renewable source of income. Funds from the campaign are placed in an endowment where they are invested. Your organization can draw on the income generated from the investment to meet various operational expenses, but must leave the endowment itself untouched, thereby ensuring that it remains a future source of income.

The website provides helpful information about starting an endowment campaign.

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