Are you new to fundraising or just need to revisit some “how to’s” to get started or gain some inspiration? Below are some great links to resources you might find helpful.
Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen. Whether you agree with Trump’s agenda or not, this is a great guide for how to gain the attention of your elected officials and help raise awareness for the issues that matter to the communities you serve.
I find that the Foundation Center offers fundraisers a plethora of useful information at little to no cost. If you have the time, take the trek to the NYC Foundation Center Library. It is close to public transportation including the NYC Subway and NJ PATH stations. The Center offers FREE access to their foundation directory online which will help you identify potential grant and sponsorship supporters. Not ready to venture out of your office? They also offer free online tutorials. Also check out their Philanthropy News Digest which offers relevant articles about the fundraising field as well as month to month RFP deadlines and other useful tools and resources. Their GrantSpace page also offers tools and resources for getting the most out of their training programs.
Although the book this site promotes (by the same name) is great, the author has made the site itself very engaging. Offering would-be writers helpful tools, advise, resources…this site is a great place to check into (or sign up to receive regular updates).
This site, often overlooked by grantwriters, is a great research tool. I’ve used it primarily in preparation for one on one meetings with private foundations and in grant research. The value of this site? FREE 990’s! Yes! FREE! You can create an account for free and if you are willing to link yourself to your nonprofit and complete an organization profile, then you get even more free benefits. Soooo…what does a 990 offer? It gives you details of who a foundation has supported and how much was given. I feel like this gives you an edge when making an ask and keeps things realistic. If you have received $5,000 from a particular foundation for 5 years and want to ask for more, you can log in to GuideStar to see what their giving patterns are and if they are in line with what your funding has been. If you see that some charities offering similar programs get in the range of $25,000, you can have a more candid conversation with the foundation’s program officer about what it would take to increase their support. However, if you are on the high end of their giving, the conversation can be about making a more significant impact over time (i.e. introducing you to other funders who can help support the same program) in a way that is realistic and in line with their regular giving patterns.
This is yet another great tool for grantwriters. Offering resources on how to research, write and manage your grants. This site has ideas, articles and webcasts to help you get inspired.
Not sure what to do with your board? Head to this site for interesting articles and ideas for engaging existing board members and attracting new members.
Not Linked In yet? Do it NOW! Create a personal profile and then join some “groups”. Make sure your settings depict your preference for receiving updates so you aren’t bombarded by emails or alerts. The Pros: LinkedIn brings together like-minded individuals and provides them with an outlet for helping one another. Joining a “group” allows you to ask your fellow nonprofit professionals for help or advice. A basic profile is FREE and the rewards are immense. The Cons: join too many groups and you begin to get a lot of updates. Your best bet…join all the groups you think are relevant in the beginning and begin weeding out those you don’t find useful as you go along. If you have some time, visit a few of the group pages you are not sure about before joining to see what the posts look like. I once joined a group with a catchy name that seemed to be exactly what I needed only to find that most of the posts read like infomercials for each contributor’s business and services and no real and useful information about what the topic that the title hinted at.