The mission and the programs are the two most important priorities for nonprofit organizations; however, nonprofit fundraising comes in a very close third. Every nonprofit manager is aware of this fact. And even though there are constantly new fundraising methods, you should never forget the foundational fundraising techniques that provide the support for all other efforts.

Nonprofit Fundraising - Where Do the Funds Come From?

It is important to understand where the majority of funds come from for nonprofits. Individual donors are the number one source of funding for nonprofits. In 2005, individual gifts amounted to almost two hundred billion dollars. Because that is such an impressive number it's always good to focus on individual giving before moving on to explore other options.

Corporations are the second largest contributors to nonprofit fundraising. Most corporations seek publicity, exposure and respect in return for their gifts. The key factor to keeping your faithful corporate donors and to bringing in new corporate donors is finding creative ways to provide the public promotion they desire. Corporate funding has proven to work especially well for events or short-term projects.

If your nonprofit organization benefits the people of your area, especially social service programs and providers of education; government funds may be available to you. It is always worth checking to see if your organization qualifies.

Grants from foundations are another major way many nonprofits receive necessary funding. There may include private, corporate, community, and family foundations that provide grants to worthy organizations. Nonprofit organizations will benefit by employing someone on staff that is savvy in grant writing.

Two Major Fundraising Categories Considered by Nonprofits

  • Ongoing Funding includes things like the annual fund, ongoing product and service sales, and multi-year grants. The support from these sources continues to provide funds all year. And, they are considered unrestricted. They do however; involve some extra attention throughout the course of a year.
  • Episodic Funding includes particular grants, special events, or bequests. The support from these sources is usually restricted in their purpose, as they are devoted to the unrestricted use by the nonprofit.