Securing Non-Profit Funding

Although working in the world of non-profits is a labor of love, the most crucial element for a non-profit organization is non-profit funding. Because many are competing for limited funds, non-profits must often be creative in securing funds from donors, grants, and fundraisers.

Non-profit funds can be raised in a variety of ways:

Grant Writing

There are numerous private and public foundations, government entities, and community organizations that allow non-profits to submit applications. Lists of potential grantors are available through state and local government sites as well as through non-profit professional guidance organizations. Because there are numerous grants available, grant writing can be a full-time position for someone in a large non-profit.

Business Donors

Non-profits are often required to network with small business and corporate donors in order to secure backing from business donors. As a result, the name of a business will often be featured prominently at a non-profit fundraiser and a business may often have a naming right for a certain aspect of a non-profit. Business contributions can be a prestigious form of advertising for both non-profits and businesses as well as an opportunity to obtain goodwill from the community.

Fundraisers

Often the best source of income for non-profit funding is through a fundraising event. These events appear in all sizes, themes and locales. From lavish galas with live and silent auctions to luncheons held in private homes and bake sales in parking lots, the fundraiser brings attention to a non-profit's cause. These events often involve many elements, such as promotion, sponsorship, ticket sales, the procuring of items to sell or auction, and public relations. A fundraiser can become the signature event of a non-profit and can often be a tremendous source for fundraising.

Direct Solicitation

Being the director of a non-profit means being the face of the organization. This often involves soliciting funds from individuals through direct contact. Private donations obtained through direct solicitation can make up a significant portion of non-profit's financial support. Many prestigious donors bring public awareness to an organization by lending their name to it . This in turn can open the door to even more funds.

Mailing lists

Mailing lists come in the form of direct mail, email lists, and past donors. A solid non-profit will have records of everyone that has donated, and will be on the constant lookout for the names of potential donors. These lists are created from recipients of past services, friends and family of the non-profit, and anyone else who has supported the non-profit. Some organizations buy lists based on certain income or interest criteria in order to target for potential donors.

Non-profit Loans

In times when additional money is required for operating expenses, a non-profit may look to a short- or long-term loan. These funds are sometimes loaned at lower interest rates, and may involve tax incentives and forgivable amounts if paid in full within a certain time frame. Non-profits can also procure loans for building expenses and for providing services to the general public. There are numerous non-profit assistance programs that can be researched on-line through non-profit networks or government entities.