Fundraising Planning - A Vital Key to Nonprofit Success

 by: Ken Goldstein

As a professional grant writer and consultant, I am often amazed at how few nonprofit organizations actually have a fund development plan beyond a vague idea of applying for a few grants and sending out an annual appeal letter.

Recognizing that lack of planning, I am not amazed at how often these same organizations have rounds of emergency budget cuts when they realize that they have no assured streams of income.

Very typical is the agency that has received a large grant to run their programs for one year. Then, in the tenth month of the grant period, comes the realization that they have no idea how they will fund the next year's programs. With less than two months of money left in the bank they go into emergency fundraising mode.

Their first impulse is to start applying for another large grant. But at most foundations, the process - from letter of inquiry to proposal to acceptance - typically takes at least three months, and often six to eight months.

Their next idea is to turn to their individual donors with a panicked letter that essentially says, "Send us money now or we might go out of business." That, of course, is the least effective fundraising letter you can write. Donors want to invest in your successes, not bail out your failures.

So, how do they avoid these situations? The answer is to plan.

Through the planning process, you will achieve the following:

* Limit crisis fundraising: This, as the example above illustrates, is our primary reason for creating a fund development plan, but there are others as well...

* Diversity builds in flexibility: Changes in other sectors of the economy can have a major impact on nonprofit funding. A cut in the state budget can be passed down as fewer contracts for local service organizations. The dot-com bust of a few years back cut foundation endowments, reducing the funds they had available to grant. Agencies that had become comfortable relying on one or two sources of funding found themselves struggling to survive these changes. Those with plans and diversified funding bases had the flexibility to adapt and survive.

* Planning for diversity brings in more opportunities: Through the planning process you come to identify funding opportunities you never knew existed. Further, when you stop having to scramble to pay next month's bills, you will be able to devote more time to developing new sources of income for your agency.   (continued...)

Fundraising Planning - A Vital Key to Nonprofit Success
  Page 2

About The Author

Ken Goldstein is a grant writer and consultant working and living in Silicon Valley. Since 1989 he has been an executive director, a board member, volunteer, and consultant to nonprofits. His education includes a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from CSU Sacramento. Goldstein Consulting can be found at http://www.goldsteinconsulting.com. Ken is also the author of "Introduction to Fund Development Planning" - Please see http://www.fundraisingplanbook.com for more information.

(c) 2006 by Ken Goldstein, all rights reserved. You may re-print or re-post this article only complete and un-edited, and including the author information, active web links, and copyright notice.




Additional Government Grants Resources


Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology
The National Science Foundation, in close cooperation the National Cancer Institute, has recently developed the Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology Program wherein they intend to obtain a more thorough understanding of cancer disorders with the application of physical and engineering sciences.


National Institutes of Health: Expanding the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements in Human and Model Organisms
The National Institutes of Health, in cooperation with the National Human Genome Research Institute, has established a funding opportunity to support the Expanding the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements in Human and Model Organisms project.


Competitive Revision for Technology Development Within Biomedical Technology Research Centers Program
The National Institutes of Health has formed a partnership with the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) in an attempt to establish the Competitive Revision for Technology Development Within Biomedical Technology Research Centers Program.


First Time Homebuyer Programs in District of Columbia
The Department of Housing and Community Development, more commonly referred to as DHCD, is a local government agency in the District of Columbia that is primarily responsible for increasing quality housing and community development opportunities.


National Institutes of Health funds the Improving Adherence to Treatment Regimens for HIV-Positive Adolescents and Young Adults
The National Institutes of Health has recently established a program entitled Improving Adherence to Treatment Regimens for HIV-Positive Adolescents and Young Adults wherein they intend to kick-off research studies that will create, implement, and evaluate both old and new interventions that are geared towards improving adherence to medical and behavioral regimens for HIV-positive adolescents which are 11 to 21 years old and adults who are 21 to 24 years old.


Health Resources and Services Administration: Affordable Care Act - Immediate Facility Improvements Program
The HRSA administers health care grants to eligible individuals, in order to help them obtain safe and quality care through the Affordable Care Act Capital Development (Immediate Facility Improvements Program).


Small Business Administration's Small Business Investment Companies
The Small Business Investment Companies Program revolves around the notion of developing privately owned and managed investment companies which will be licenses and regulated by the Small Business Administration, so as to provide equity capital, long term loans, and advisory services to small business requiring such services.






Social Entrepreneurship
Spotlight



Social Enterprises Address Housing Crises


Funding for social enterprises and housing associations are extremely lacking. Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive, Big Society Capital points out that there is a need to “build bigger, more stronger, more resilient social enterprises” because they are “critical to growth and prosperity and quality of life in our community.”




Not for Profit Jobs in Nebraska

  Executive Director Jobs
  Substance Abuse Jobs
  Program Director Jobs
  Executive Director Jobs
  Social Services Jobs





More Federal Domestic Assistance Programs


Health Professions Preparatory Scholarship Program for Indians | Model State Drug Laws Initiative | Occupational Safety and Health State Program | Cooperative Research and Training Programs ? Resources of the National Park System | WIOA National Dislocated Worker Grants / WIA National Emergency Grants |  Site Style by YAML | Grants.gov | Grants | Grants News | Sitemap | Privacy Policy


Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2022 Copyright Michael Saunders