Holly: We understand your situation. You understand it. Apparently, your Board members do not.
My suggested first step is for you to let the Board know that simply writing more grant requests is for certain “not going to work,” as you rightly said. Let them know that non-profits cannot expect to survive mainly through grants, and that, indeed, alternate sources of funds must be sought. Set that stage with the facts from the following article, written by my wife, Joyce Braun Poderis:
--- Foundations: Are They Really Where the Money Is? http://www.raise-funds.com/2011/foundations-are-they-really-where-the-money-is/
From the limits of grant-seeking, known and accepted by everyone at your organization, then do work to identify other sources of support. http://www.raise-funds.com/1999/tapping-the-philanthropic-well/
Looking over your listing of income sources, there are two which prompt my comments: And there is one missing.
(1) Contributions (private grants and donations):
Rate and evaluate each donor to work for renewal, but especially to seek increased gifts. Establish an Annual Fund Membership program to bolster that objective. Here are some tools to help: http://www.raise-funds.com/1999/annual-campaigns-once-a-year-every-year/ http://www.raise-funds.com/1998/rating-and-evaluating-prospects-whom-do-you-ask-for-how-much/ http://www.raise-funds.com/2009/membership-campaigns-the-how-to/
(2) Special Events
Be sure to place Special Event fund-raising into its proper position in the “mix” of your total fund-raising sources because of the time, effort, and cost often expended for relatively little net proceeds. They have their place, to be sure, but that position must not be set at the detriment of other, more rewarding, fund-raising efforts. http://www.raise-funds.com/2001/your-organizations-next-special-event-fund-raiser-or-friend-raiser/
(3) Missing from your sources of contributions is what you get from your Board of Trustees. Their direct donations should represent a good percentage of what is raised annually, and if they do not have the potential, then in time the Board must be strengthened in that way---and to have them raise money personally, and to have them recruit other volunteer fund-raisers. http://www.raise-funds.com/2003/how-board-members-can-become-effective-fund-raisers/ http://www.raise-funds.com/1998/annual-fund-giving-getting-guidelines-for-trustees/
(4) Other ways to find donors:
(a) Again, you start with your Board of Trustees. Always. To give at the best of their ability, identify and rate prospects and personally solicit them. More often than not, in situations where there is no history of giving, hence no donor/prospect database, trustees solicit their families, friends, colleagues, vendors, in short anyone who would give them money simply because they asked, not necessarily because they know the organization, or even if they care about.
(b) Your own identified constituencies---those whom you know care about what you do. You begin rating prospects by establishing a database of caring and financially capable individuals. This list will be generated from your organization’s past fund-raising experience, and suggestions of new prospects from participants in rating meetings. Use the tools described above to identify giving potential and institute the membership program.
(c) A donor file could have records of stock ownership, real estate holdings, salary data, business and career histories, family “tree” information, etc.
(d) Research your constituencies to directors of public corporations for those connections. That information is readily available in libraries. corporate annual reports, etc.
(e) Compare your constituencies to the individuals holding decision-making positions for private foundations as their attorneys, trust officers, etc.
(f) Look for any of your supporters who are making gifts considerably larger to other non-profit organizations than they give to you and determine how you could be as well favored.
(g) Gather Annual Reports from organizations similar to yours and review their listings of donors as potential donors to your particular cause.
Best additional fund-raising wishes,
Tony Poderis http://www.raise-funds.com
- Feature Articles
- Worksheets & Forms
• Raise-funds.com is a FREE website