Available Now!

Fundraising Resources
NonProfit Marketing
NonProfit Dictionary
Graphic Design
NonProfit News
Find a NonProfit 


  FundCons Strategy

Fundraising Strategy Questionnaire:
Developing your fundraising strategy is a wise time investment.  Your fundraising goals can be achieved more efficiently and effectively by first assessing your organizations needs and then matching your organization to the appropriate fundraising sources and techniques.  Knowing the dollar amount of your budget is only a starting point.  Depending upon the nature of your nonprofit, the mission statement, location and even the cultural climate and popular appeal of your cause, you must decide which funding sources are most appropriate for you.    

PAVE has developed the following questionnaire to help you develop your own fundraising strategy.  We suggest that you print this questionnaire and then organize a brainstorming committee to discuss each section.  Compile the results and then return to the “fundraising consulting” menu for more information about each source.  We begin with individual donors because the value of corporate and foundation funding tends to be overestimated.  Only 4.7% of all private sector donations comes from corporate giving.   Only 7.6 % comes from foundations.  More than 80% of all private sector donations come from individuals. 

Source #1:  Individual Donors

  • Do any of us or any of our board members or friends have any personal contacts which could help us gain a large gift from a major donor?
  • Have we had any past success soliciting donations from individual donors?
  • What is the relationship between individuals or their community and our mission or the people we serve?
  • Evaluate whether your organization has the skills and resources needed to fundraise using the following approaches:  fundraising events (parties, concerts, etc.); direct mail; sales of products or services, bequest soliciting, paid or donated advertising in publications or broadcast, telephone campaign, canvassing, raffles or any other approaches you can think of.
  • What information do we have about this source?  How recent is that information?
  • Do we have any conflicts of interest, ethical, political or otherwise, with the individuals from whom we are requesting funding? 
  • What type of funding -- core or project -- is appropriate for this source?  Generally, individual donors are a good source of core funding.
  • What is our competition for this funding ? How do we compare with the competition?
  • How can we benefit individuals who help us (e.g.., recognition, publicity etc.)?
  • What are the costs vs. the benefits of acquiring funding from this source?  In other words, determine the anticipated budget expenditures in staff time, hiring a fundraiser and other costs of approaching this source.  Next estimate what your chances are of being successful and the amount of time it will take to actually receive funding.  Compare this result with other sources evaluated.  

Source #2:  Corporate Grants

  • Do any of us or any of our board members or friends have any personal contacts which could help us gain funding from this source?
  • Have we had any past success using this source?
  • What is the relationship between this source and our mission or the people we serve? 
  • What is the relationship between this source’s market/business/community and our mission or the people we serve?
  • In addition to corporate grants, does the corporate source provide support through:  matching employee contributions, donation of equipment, matching funds or sponsorship of events or publications?
  • Do we match the funder’s criteria?  How well do we match?  How can we tailor our proposal to match this source?
  • Do we have the skills (e.g.., writing and presentation skills) needed to fundraise from this source? 
  • What information do we have about this source?  How recent is that information?
  • Do we have any conflicts of interest, ethical, political or otherwise, with this source? 
  • What type of funding -- core or project -- is appropriate for this source?
  • What is our competition for this funding? How do we compare with the competition?
  • How can we appropriately benefit this source (e.g.., recognition, publicity etc.)?

What are the costs vs. the benefits of acquiring funding from this source?  In other words, determine the anticipated budget expenditures in staff time, hiring a fundraiser and other costs of approaching this source.  Next estimate what your chances are of being successful and the amount of time it will take to actually receive funding.  Compare this result with other sources evaluated.  

Source #3:  Other organizations (professional associations, religious groups, unions, United Way or other nonprofits.

  • Do any of us or any of our board members or friends have any personal contacts which could help us gain funding from this source?
  • Have we had any past success using this source?
  • What is the relationship between this source and our mission or the people we serve? 
  • What is the relationship between this source’s market/business/community and our mission or the people we serve?
  • Do we match the funder’s criteria?  How well do we match?  How can we tailor our proposal to match this source?
  • Do we have the skills (e.g.., writing and presentation skills) needed to fundraise from this source? 
  • What information do we have about this source?  How recent is that information?
  • Do we have any conflicts of interest, ethical, political or otherwise, with this source? 
  • What type of funding -- core or project -- is appropriate for this source?
  • What is our competition for this funding? How do we compare with the competition?
  • How can we benefit this source (e.g.., recognition, publicity etc.)?
  • What are the costs vs. the benefits of acquiring funding from this source?  In other words, determine the anticipated budget expenditures in staff time, hiring a fundraiser and other costs of approaching this source.  Next estimate what your chances are of being successful and the amount of time it will take to actually receive funding.  Compare this result with other sources evaluated.  

Source #4:  Foundations 

  • Do any of us or any of our board members or friends have any personal contacts which could help us to attain funding from this source?
  • Have we had any past success using this source?
  • What is the relationship between this source and our mission or the people we serve? 
  • Using the directory on findit.org, do a foundation search by your state and field.  What is the stated mission of each foundation in your result?
  • What is the fiscal calendar and when does the board meet for each foundation in your result?
  • What is the relationship between this source’s market/business/community and our mission or the people we serve?
  • Do we match the funder’s criteria?  How well do we match?  How can we tailor our proposal to match this source?
  • Do we have the skills (e.g.., writing and presentation skills) needed to fundraise from this source? 
  • In addition to the information about each foundation on your findit.org search, what information do we have about this source?  How recent is that information?
  • Do we have any conflicts of interest, ethical, political or otherwise, with this source? 
  • What type of funding -- core or project -- is appropriate for this source?
  • What is our competition for this funding? How do we compare with the competition?
  • How can we benefit this source (e.g.., recognition, publicity etc.)?
  • What are the costs vs. the benefits of acquiring funding from this source?  In other words, determine the anticipated budget expenditures in staff time, hiring a fundraiser and other costs of approaching this source.  Next estimate what your chances are of being successful and the amount of time it will take to actually receive funding.  Compare this result with other sources evaluated.  

Source #5 Governments (neighborhood, town, city, county, state and/or federal)

  • Do any of us or any of our board members or friends have any personal contacts which could help us attain information about funding opportunities from this source?
  • Have we had any past success using this source?
  • What is the relationship between the interests of that government agency’s constituency and our mission or the people we serve? 
  • What is the relationship between the stated purpose of the specific fund we are seeking to take part in and our mission or the people we serve?
  • What is the deadline for application to the specific fund we are seeking?
  • Do we match the funder’s criteria?  How well do we match?  How can we tailor our proposal to match this source?
  • Do we have the skills (e.g.., writing and presentation skills) needed to fundraise from this source? 
  • What information do we have about this source?  How recent is that information?
  • Do we have any conflicts of interest, ethical, political or otherwise, with this source? 
  • What type of funding -- core or project -- is appropriate for this source?
  • What is our competition for this funding? How do we compare with the competition?
  • How can we benefit this source (e.g.., recognition, publicity etc.)?
  • What are the costs vs. the benefits of acquiring funding from this source?  In other words, determine the anticipated budget expenditures in staff time, hiring a fundraiser and other costs of approaching this source.  For government funding, also consider the additional regulatory requirements which may be imposed upon your organization should you accept funding. Next estimate what your chances are of being successful and the amount of time it will take to actually receive funding.  Compare this result with other sources evaluated.  
 

FindIt. Org: The NonProfit Online Resource
3371 21st Street #1, San Francisco CA, 94110