What are your community’s most successful nonprofit organizations doing to attract funds
When it comes to fundraising, animal welfare organizations often think of themselves as "competing" only with other animal welfare groups and that only animal-lovers will make donations to their organization.
But the truth is, most communities have many nonprofit organizations and many donors who contribute for a variety of different reasons. Below we offer some steps for getting a fix on your local nonprofit scene and using what you discover to enhance your fundraising efforts.
Who Are Those Guys?
Make a list of the nonprofit organizations in your service area. Nonprofits take many forms, such as:
Places you can look to find them are:
How are They Doing?
Next, identify the organizations on your list that are well-known in your community and those your research has identified as strong fundraisers. Obtain copies of the most recent annual reports for this select list. Annual reports are often available from an organization's website. If not, you can always call and request one be sent to you. (Nonprofits' annual reports are considered public information.)
What Are They Known for?
Don't be afraid to adopt some of the strategies that are working well for other organizations.
Who's Giving Them Money?
The annual reports will give you a good sense of the organizations' overall financial health. It will also contain detailed information about their sources of funding. The reports frequently include lists of individual donors by giving level.
You can see if you have any direct links to those donors by having your fundraising committee annotate those lists as well. Add promising names to your prospective donor list.
You can also make note of other sources of funding, such as corporate donations, grants, and revenue from events. This information will be useful when you pursue these other areas of fundraising.
Who Has Time to Find Out?
This kind of research is perfect for a volunteer with a telephone and access to a computer. You can also divide up the work among your fundraising committee members, with each person agreeing to research a few types of nonprofit organizations.
This research takes time. But it can definitely pay off in a practical understanding of where charitable dollars come from in your community and where they go.