Thereis a common saying among non-profit organizations which states, “Nomoney, no mission.” This statement means that these organizationshave to source for revenue consistently. The organization has totailor the available methods to suit the type, donor reach, size, andpurpose of the charity.
Duringthe start of the organization’s search for funds to fulfill itsobjectives, there are several starting points that it needs toconsider. The first point is that money is a scarce resource.Although there may be an availability of money in society, severalorganizations are competing for it. The people working in theorganization need to understand that donors, foundations, andcorporations have choices on where they can allocate the money theyhave set aside for charitable courses. The second consideration isthat they should hold the money they raise as a public trust. Theseorganizations get their regulations in the states where they areregistered. The United States Congress and US Treasury also play apart in governing them. These regulatory bodies ensure theorganizations work for the common benefit. Therefore, the leaders ofthe organization should not perceive the money as theirs or even theorganization’s, but as belonging to its mission. The third point isthat money must flow from the mission. The organization should neversubordinate the duty to money. Its donors should have a reasonablelevel of similarity in their objectives with it. Fourthly, donorsexpect efficiency and effectiveness in the use of their money.Efficiency means that the organization will work in a way that getsas much value out of the money as possible. Effectiveness means thatthe donors expect their money to produce favorable results for themission.
Anotherkey fact to consider is that relationships are important indeveloping donors. Building solid relationships takes time, anddonors cannot only sponsor a course due to the alignment of purposebut also the personal relationships with the organization’smembers. Also, only about a quarter of asks succeed, so overcomingthe fear of rejection is crucial. The fundraisers should alsoconsider the “fundraising flow,” which refers to how charitiesraise money through major campaigns that may last a year or more.This flow occurs in two ways, which are inside out and top-down. Inthe inside-out flow, members of the charity are the first donorsfollowed by donations from the public. The top-down flow means thatthe fundraising team should create a pyramid, where they place donoraids in order of the size, starting from the largest. They wouldsecure the large donations before proceeding to the lower amounts ofmoney. Non-profit organizations should allow donors to ask questionsregarding a particular purpose, idea, program, or mission so thatdonors can visualize and understand their outcomes. Donors are lesslikely to give to general or unspecified campaigns than in the past.The purpose consists of a case statement that explains the specificand urgent needs for the money. This statement also shows theorganization’s competency through a past track record except if theprogram is new, and the motivation of the donor tie-in that explainshow the money it wants aligns to the donor’s motivation andmission.
Afterconsidering all the starting points, the next step for thefundraising team is developing donors. The group will need tounderstand the donor’s psychology. It explains that major donorsgive to charities because of rational thinking where they expectcertain results, self-interest as the giving has to align with thedonor’s interests, and emotional reasons such as missions they feeldeeply about or have affected them personally. There are severalcategories of donors. The first category, individuals, includesgeneral donors who contribute due to internet appeals, directmarketing, and telemarketing. The second subcategory is major donors,who the team must cultivate a relationship with, and have the right“asker” in the team that will approach them for funds. Thisperson should define both the amount of money required and resultsclearly. The second category, corporations, can give cash and in-kindcontributions, board connections, and corporate citizenship. Thethird type, foundations, is important due to their ability tocontribute significant amounts of money over longer periods.Foundations, being non-profit, are keen to ensure amission-to-mission fit between them and the organization seekingfunds. Resources from foundations are highly competitive because theytend to be large but medium to long range. In raising money fromfoundations, personal connections and relationships are important.The fourth category of donors, the government, can give helpfulgrants. However, these grants are the least flexible because of therule-bounded nature of state agencies. The organization should knowthe grant process to avoid missing the donations in the process.
Thefundraising team should anticipate certain questions, especially fromthe major donors. The donor may want to get the accurate and clearreasons why it needs the money. The donor may also want to understandhow the organization will spend the money. They would want to knowthe expected returns or results from the donation, such as the socialreturn, who will benefit, and how. The team should also be ready totell the donor why they have chosen them to be a major donor as itwill help the donor understand how their duty and the organization’smission align. They may want to know who else is supporting the causefor them to estimate the influence of the organization, the level ofother donors’ giving, and the likelihood of success of the charity.The donor may ask about the membership of the board for them toidentify the kind of people and their level of expertise. Sincesuccess breeds success, they are likely to ask about the previousprograms’ successes, metrics, and failures, giving them an idea ofhow effective and efficient they are in using major donors’dollars. Metrics are how the organization will measure success. Theymay ask about the percentage of the budget allocated for overhead togauge their efficiency. They may ask about the percentage allocatedto fundraising to determine whether the organization is puttingenough money for it to succeed.
Alternativemethods may not apply to all organizations due to the differences intheir scope, size, and mission. The charity must tailor fundraisingprograms to suit them. These sources include membership dues,membership contributions, special appeals for urgent needs, specialevents such as galas, capital campaigns, planned giving such aswills, bequests, and annuities, life insurance beneficiaries, earnedincome such as program ticket sales, affinity cards, cause-relatedmarketing partners, products and business ventures. Special eventsmay be costly and challenging, and so the team must compare thebenefits such an event brings to the cost to determine if it isworth. Capital campaigns are long-term, high dollar, and high-profileefforts, which make them high-risk. If it fails, it may lose theability to stage another such campaign in the future. Theorganization should conduct a feasibility study before undertaking acapital campaign (YouTube, 2017).
YouTube(2017), Neiheisel-April 6.Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3asUgY_Xd8,Accessed on 6 April 2017Topof Form
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