If, when someone mentions fundraising for a non-profit, the first thing that comes to mind is a bunch of kids frantically waving car wash signs on the side of the road, then your idea of fundraising may be a bit limited.
There's a lot more to fundraising than scheduling a weekend car wash.
Fundraising for a non-profit—when it's done well— is strategic. If you can tap into the strategy of fundraising, then you'll be more likely to tap into the billions of dollars of funds available to non-profits like your homeless shelter or rescue mission. Here are some of our best tips:
Identify your fundraising goal and target demographic
If you're not clear on your mission, then no one else will be either. You must set the fundraising goal for your organization and understand the people you're reaching so that you can articulate your specific needs to potential donors.
Once you're clear on your goal and demographic, you can be clear with your requests. Telling people "We need homeless shelter mattresses and metal beds" is more memorable than something vague like "We need your support." Clarity yields better results when you're fundraising for a non-profit.
One way to add clarity to your fundraising is to share statistics. Because statistics are both concrete and easy to understand, they grab people's attention, making them very helpful for fundraising.
Know your finances
Unfortunately, not all non-profit organizations are great stewards of their finances. This reality sometimes makes many donors wary to contribute to a non-profit that isn't very well known. Clarity and transparency are key here.
The more light you can shed on your financial situation the better. To accomplish this, make a chart that shows your budget and demonstrates good stewardship of existing resources. Share this with potential donors. Explain how much money you need for your next project (or to continue your current one), and be specific about how you will use the money to improve the community.
At the end of the day, a shelter is a business. Yes, it's a not-for-profit business, but it is a business nonetheless. Foundations are investors, and they want to know they're giving their money to the right people, specifically those who are...
- Effective providers of outreach to the community
- Capable managers of funds
Become a good writer
Grant writing is an important part of fundraising for a non-profit. Plan for about 20% of your funding to come from grant money.
If you're not confident in your writing, hire someone who is. Grant writing needs to be more than acceptable; it must be engaging. A convincing proposal is the essential to receiving grant funds.
However, in an attempt to engage potential donors, avoid these common mistakes:
- Sob stories. Be careful not to make your proposal emotionally charged. An emotional anecdote may cause potential donors to feel like you're trying to manipulate them into giving, which will likely work against you.
- Desperation. Keep it positive. Avoid making it sound like your non-profit will become extinct if your grant application is rejected. No donor wants to put their money into a non-profit that might be closing it's doors anyway.
After all of your hard work has paid off, and you have the funds you need for your homeless shelter or rescue mission, you know where to find those mattresses and beds you need. American Bedding Manufacturers has quality bedding and a great reputation to back it up.
Contact us online, or click on the banner below to request a catalog!