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Fundraising is an essential component of operation for all nonprofit organizations, however it can be a daunting task. Nonprofits compete for attention with thousands of other organizations, especially in Dane County, where our non-profit per capita ratio is one of the highest in the country. As a result, the challenge of connecting donors to your specific mission can feel overwhelming.

Thankfully, nonprofits have many options for raising funds, but it is crucial to first scrutinize your overall fundraising strategy.


Create a Strategic Fundraising Plan

Just like any other business, every nonprofit needs to address money coming in and money going out.

Your board or executive staff should be involved in helping you identify ongoing expenses, larger capital expenditures and a reserve.


Make Giving Easy and Flexible

One fundraising mistake nonprofits often make is unintentionally creating too many barriers to giving. Always, let people choose when, where, and how they want to donate. Whether that’s through crypto currency, automatic monthly donations, or checks in the mail, make sure you’re letting donors decide how they give to your organization.

Too many hurdles or a difficult donation process can very quickly turn people off.


Diversify Your Nonprofit Funding Sources

If your nonprofit fundraising strategy consists of only one method, then you’re taking a huge risk. Your organization should never rely on a single revenue stream to keep running. And why would you?

There are dozens of ways nonprofits can fundraise, both in-person and online. Diversifying your fundraising methods will help you not only capture donors’ interests at all different levels but also protect your nonprofit from the unexpected.


Nurture Your Relationships, Like a Salesperson Would

Without relationships, you’ll find fundraising difficult, if not impossible. Fundraising is about who you know and if they know you.

Customer Relationship Management tracking is incredibly important for nonprofits. Whether you have a small budget and use an Excel spreadsheet or have the luxury of paid employees with formal software, how you manage your contacts will define your fundraising success.

Building donor relationships in nonprofits should involve:

  • Connecting donors to issues they truly care about
  • Emotionally engaging with potential donors
  • Recognizing donors when you see them
  • Tracking event invites and donations
  • Targeting those with a propensity to give
  • Building loyalty and allowing donors to provide feedback
  • Not being afraid to ask for money


Remember the Emotional Component

Most people who work or volunteer for nonprofits care deeply about the mission. When seeking fundraising for your nonprofit, impact stories are so important. Donors need to understand how your organization impacts real-life people. Connecting donors to your mission and evoking an emotional response can be what sets you apart from your competition.


If you’re looking for additional resources for nonprofits, visit our collection of resources here or contact one of our knowledgeable Community Engagement team members.