Fundraising Tips

Proven Ways to Successfully Fundraise. This section will be routinely updated with new ideas and information.

The Black Book of Public Spending
- Croatian Taxpayers Alliance Lipa has launched a new project - The Black Book of Public Spending, which documents examples of wasteful spending and raises awareness of citizens and taxpayers about their rights.

Marketing and Fundraising

From: Staffan Wennberg, Chairman of WTA

One thought I would like to leave with you is that direct marketing to be successful is almost more mathematics than creativity. Keeping track, analyzing the results on different files. So when working with a consultant on this or hiring someone – rather get the careful, mathematically-oriented person than the brilliantly creative one!

Then the old rule from file management from the Readers Digest – your members (or donors) can be divided into three categories: The new on your latest campaign, the first repeat and your base file. So it is only on the third renewal or donation that the person becomes a member of the all important “Base file”. That is where the money is and where your true followers are! Treat these three different groups differently and follow them up separately and your success will increase!

How to Build a Major Gift Culture

Ben Case has had a long series of tips on “How to build a major gift culture.” The last of six well-developed points is The Power of Asking. The biggest reason people do not donate is because they are not asked! You can offer them the chance to participate in building a better world – in turning their resources into the “gold” of a better society. They expect to be asked and you will get valuable feed back. Initially you may not talk about money – people respond to being asked a favor – to contributing information, advice or gifts. Listening is an important part of building a good relationship. The daily tips are stimulating and over time you will surely get some good ideas how to improve your fundraising. He is happy to send his daily tips to you – send an e-mail to the following address to register:

Using the Telephone in Fundraising and Marketing

“Five Key Traits of a Great Major Gifts Officer…”

Arroyo Fundraising’s…Kathie Kramer Ryan…


1.    Passionate about their organization’s mission

2.    Genuinely curious about other people

3.    Self-driven and self-disciplined

4.    Appropriately persistent

5.    Results oriented


Here are some other necessary qualities to round out the “portrait” of your perfect candidate. A great major gifts officer should also be:

  • Fearless
  • Enthusiastic
  • Creative
  • Self-aware
  • Authentic
  • Reliable
  • Thick-skinned
  • Collaborative (team player)
  • Principled
  • Donor-centered
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Able to connect the dots
  • Able to manage up

“Crowdfunding 101…”

David & Amanda Horowitz…

Crowdfunding is a popular way for entrepreneurs to raise money for projects and companies. It can be a way to make dreams come true, start a new business or raise money for a cause.

•How it works – during an online crowdfunding campaign, money is contributed by a number of individuals or investors in order to support the financing of a project or company. There are different types of crowdfunding – this will only mention reward-based and investment-based. In reward-based, supporters get a reward in exchange for their contributions. Rewards vary and can range from a thank-you tweet to a pre-ordered product. In investment-based, accredited investors who fund a business have a potential for financial return or ownership stake in the company. Since crowdfunding is new, the laws governing it are still taking shape.
•Websites – new crowdfunding websites are launching every day. Among the different platforms are Kickstarter ( where creative projects raise reward-based funding; Indiegogo ( where entrepreneurial, cause related and creative projects raise reward-based funds; Crowdfunder (, which connects entrepreneurs and investors for investment crowdfunding; and Crowdrise (, where you can raise money for a cause. Before joining a site, make sure you know what you’re signing up for.
•Before you launch – launching a successful crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of preparation. Consult and retain legal counsel before launching  in order to know your legal duties and make sure you are complying with them. Make sure you are aware of possible federal and state tax consequences. When describing your product or business, make sure that your disclosures are accurate, clear, and truthful and that your offers are explicitly detailed. Most important, make sure you are able to deliver on your promises. Failure to put forth sufficient effort could result in liability.
•Be aware of fraud – there are concerns that fraudulent behavior will increase as crowdfunding gains mainstream momentum. Legitimate crowdfunding sites have safeguards in place to protect users from fraud.

Tips for Success in Asking for the Major Gift

Gonser Gerber Tinker Stuhr

•Assume success – be positive.

•Visualize prior to the ask how you will make the ask and practice possible answers for objections before the call.

•Be sure the setting is right with the right people asking for the gift.

•Be enthusiastic – if you don’t believe in your cause, why should anyone else?

•Ask questions – the more the prospect talks, the more you learn.

•Be an effective listener – learn what “moves” them, connect their need to give to the opportunity you are presenting.

•Be persistent in a cheerful way.

•Let your sincerity show.

•Don’t treat “no” as really “no.” “No” often means the prospect needs more information, time to deliberate, or is interested in another project. “No” is often a “yes” deferred.

Troy Lanigan’s Fundraising Principles

Fundraising can be a daunting task, but if you keep these timeless principles in mind, it will make it much more manageable. It’s also a well put together PowerPoint presentation for your reference.Power Point – Fundraising – WTC Berlin – 16 March_Lanigan

Targeting Foundation Prospects in 7 Steps

by Ann C. Fitzgerald and DAVID MCLAUGHLIN

The first step in successful fundraising is identifying prospects. When it comes to grantmaking foundations, nonprofits tend to have an overabundance of prospects, but a dearth of strategic steps. In order to create the best strategies to solicit foundations, begin with a strong research plan.

  1. Assemble your tools. FoundationSearch and Foundation Directory Online are two fee-based options that make foundation research much simpler. If you are on a tight budget, visit Here you will see the locations of Foundation Center offices, as well as libraries and universities where you can get free access to Foundation Directory. Free resources such as Guidestar and the Grantsmanship Center provide access to the foundations’ tax returns (Form 990-PF), grantwriting tips and funders by state.
  2. Know your organization. This may seem obvious, but it’s a critical step. In some organizations, the development and program staffs are less integrated. Fundraisers must understand their nonprofit’s mission and vision, as well as the priority projects that require funding.
  3. Identify your competitors and who funds them. Competing nonprofits often lead you to foundation prospects. Using the databases mentioned above, review the foundations that are supporting your competitors.
  4. Compile basic information to aid in decision-making. To determine if you have identified a good prospect, weigh several factors such as the foundation’s giving interests, its grants to like-minded groups, its giving restrictions and its board members.
  5. Take your list and cut it down. That’s right. Hone the list so that you are targeting your top five to ten best foundation prospects. Success with foundations is not about volume. It’s about carefully matching your mission to the foundation’s philanthropic interests and beginning a conversation.
  6. Create detailed profiles for top prospects: Focusing on your five to ten prospects, flesh out a detailed profile including the foundation’s contacts, history, grants and deadlines. Consider calling a friendly competing nonprofit that receives a grant to get additional insights.
  7. Map out the strategic steps. If you’ve done your homework, you are ready to approach the foundation. In some cases, the first step is to submit a short letter of inquiry. Ideally, you can take a more personal approach through a call or meeting. Your objective is to learn more about the interests of the foundation and lay the groundwork for submitting a proposal.

With a little time, patience and focused activity, foundations can become an important, long-term source of revenue for your nonprofit organization.

If you would like assistance in identifying foundation prospects, please contact us.


Unlock Success with Donor Research…
Advocace…Randy Bronkema…
Many nonprofits find it challenging to convert names in their database into major donors. So, how do we find and cultivate larger donors from our existing donor database? The answer is prospect research. Yes, research is the key. There are things you can do in your current database.

· A Vision United – research proves that 78% of people give to a compelling vision. Vision unites an organization.

· Collect information – information about your donors plays a major role in success with your donor database. It needs to be part of the expected climate in your office to collect information about your donors. Start with basic information and continue adding to the database as you learn more about their hobbies, children, interests and passions.

· Contact Major Donors – make contact with any donor who has given $1,000 or more to your organization in the past three years. Building relationships with these people will help you find donors that can support your organization at a greater level.

· Online Tools – sometimes we just don’t have enough time to see every possible donor. We need a tool to prioritize our cultivation efforts. A tool that scans databases could be a catalyst for moving your major gift program forward.