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Fundraising is one of the most important responsibilities of running a nonprofit. But it can be difficult to find ways to bring the donations in.

As you fundraise for your organization, keep in mind these fundamentals:

  1. Formalize your strategic fundraising plan.
  2. Diversify your funding sources.
  3. Make sure giving is easy and flexible.

When putting together your fundraising plan, give people the chance to donate how they want to donate. If there are hurdles to giving, people may get frustrated and give up before they’ve completed their donation process.

Types of Fundraising

Remember: diversify! You should have several different funding campaigns/styles going at once for your nonprofit. That way, if one source dries up, you have other revenues to rely on.

Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Capital Campaigns: For large expenditures or major projects, such as buildings. Many may never need this kind of campaign, depending on the program type.
  • Fundraising Events: Examples include sports outings, 5Ks, or parties.
  • Grants and Endowments: You can find these through government or private foundation entities. They require an application, where you’ll have to convince the donors why you are the best candidate.
  • Endowment Funds: You can also create a fund for donors to contribute to, and then distribute the funds to applicants in the form of grants.
  • Legacy and Planned Giving: Donors can allot gifts through estates, will, and trusts, though these are unpredictable and challenging to include in your budget planning.
  • Annual Giving: Tiered giving programs where donors commit to a certain amount per month. You can set these up to auto-renew, so they give you a relatively constant stream of funds.
  • Membership Dues: If you can provide social networking or other benefits to members, charging dues is a good option.
  • Year-End Appeals: People are often generous at the end of the year.
  • Donor Matching: If you can partner with companies, donors know their gift will go further because their employer or a sponsor will match. This encourages more giving.
  • Donor-Advised Fund: You can set up a donor-advised fund for donors to give cash, securities or other assets that are immediately tax deductible. Then the fund can grow through investments. Additionally, the donors can provide input on where the money is spent, encouraging their involvement in your cause.

When considering what styles of fundraising to use, keep in mind the most successful are donations that are not specifically earmarked. Then you can use it in the matter you would benefit most.

Need more help navigating nonprofit finances?

Park Bank is dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve their financial and real-world goals. By giving back, we all move forward.

Learn more about Park Bank’s nonprofit account options and resources.