Feed the Beast: Four Steps to Fund the Programs You Cherish

By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.

Securing funds for nonprofits can be challenging, despite the many possible sources of funding an organization can focus on. Stability is the key word in this endeavor, and achieving it is the most challenging part of financing the programs you cherish.

Every nonprofit organization is different, so the sources of funding will vary. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure proper and stable funding for a nonprofit program or organization. Let’s have a look at four steps to fund the programs you cherish:

  1. Get Everyone on Board

Even though the fundraising team will handle the organization’s efforts to raise funds, it’s essential for every member of the organization to take part in making a funding plan.

For small organizations and programs, which might only be a few people; everyone should be involved initially. Doing so will ensure clarity and transparency of planning, as well as serving as a springboard for coming up with the best ideas. For larger organizations, a top-down approach involving the departments in charge of leadership, communications, and development would be a good option.

  1. Align the Funding Plan to Your Mission

Every organization has a different mission, which is part of what makes working for nonprofits so fulfilling. However, for an easier time securing funding, it’s best to align the funding plan to the organization’s mission and principles. The way an organization raises money should complement its mission statement and vice versa.

In this step, you will also have to decide on what are the organization’s fundraising goals. There are a number of factors in making this determination, but all must tie to ensuring the success of the mission and providing for continuing growth.

  1. Decide on Fundraising Method

There are many ways in which you could choose to raise funds for a nonprofit organization. Of course, they will depend on what you do in the previous two steps, but some of the common ways of raising funds are:

  • Through sponsorship — partnering with a for-profit organization or business;
  • Through cause-related marketing — an excellent idea to market and raise funds at the same time by partnering with a few different organizations to support the same cause;
  • Through sales — usually of services and products, if the nonprofit organization offers any;
  • Through corporate level programs such as one-day events, community-based fundraisers, pro bono work or product donations;
  • Through grant funding which can be a good source of supplementary income for nonprofits;
  • Through donations, as one of the most commonly used nonprofit funding avenues.
  1. Carry Out the Plan

After you set the methods, the next stage is to create the fundraising calendar and carry out the plan. Detail the design into a one, three, or even a five-year plan that should carry the organization through its day-to-day operations.

Nonprofits don’t always have it easy when it comes to development, so it’s important to think ahead and make sure you build a plan that provides multiple funding sources.

Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.