10 Ideas to Kickstart Your Funding Plan


Funding Planning seems to be on a LOT of minds right now. Perhaps you're feeling a bit squeezed dry from all we've been through in the past 2.5 years. Maybe it's just a 'holy moly the new fiscal year is starting...NOW!' bit of anxiety. Whatever the reason, if you're stressing about moolah, here are a few things you can do to get yourself a bit more organized and ready to make money this fiscal year:

  • Determine your income goal for the next fiscal year and compare it to what the organization brought in last fiscal year. What's the difference? Talk to board members and current funders about possible ways to bridge that gap.

  • Make a list of funding you know is guaranteed this fiscal year.
  • Make a list of current income streams that you feel you can increase this year.
  • Dust off last year's donor solicitation letter, update it with juicy data and stories of success and compelling statements about your new plans.
  • Send the new draft of your letter to your board and ask each of them to pass it along to five of their closest colleagues or friends with a personal note about your financial goals.
  • Ask your staff, board, and volunteers if they would consider setting up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook and making your organization the recipient.
  • Start a document and entitle it "Why we're so awesome you should throw money at us" and ask staff and board members to list reasons why. This list should help all of you communicate your value and feel good about what you do when talking to prospective donors. Enthusiasm is more contagious than COVID!
  • Are there any funding streams missing from your annual budget? Typical nonprofit income streams include things like: individual donations, business contributions, local government contributions, grants, fundraisers & events, fee-for-services, sales (usually small items like ornaments, mugs, books, etc.), and interest.
  • Create a list of annual sponsorship opportunities: ways that businesses can support your organization annually (auto-renewals, if you can!) and perks you can give them in return (try to come up with things that would be of value to a business but cost you nothing to give - like logo with hyperlink on your website or in your e-newsletter).
  • Email your favorite nonprofit management consultant and schedule Funding Planning services (you knew I had to go there, right?!)

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