Business Development · Fundraising

What are best ways to reach new non-profit donors?

Mike Meador CEO at California Greenworks, Inc.

September 24th, 2015

I manage a small non profit where obtaining donors support is very critical. Most important is having funding to meet operational cost each month. Can anyone suggest the best approach for gaining new donors and increasing our discretionary funding for our organization.

Marc Milgrom Business Manager at Bloomberg, LP

September 24th, 2015

The nonprofit world is changing drastically, and more and more donors are directing their giving based on transparency and effectiveness. To that end if you want to attract (and more importantly KEEP) new donors, you need to be open about what you're doing, measure your outcomes and define your theory of change and how those outcomes create the impact you want.
Size isn't necessarily important, but generally a proper program of impact assessment requires some upfront investment, and it's hard to sustain for organizations below a certain size. The payback is two-fold though: you know which of your programs are effective, and you demonstrate to your donors that their contributions are going to their best use, encouraging them to keep funding you. There's no silver bullet-- the social sector is more competitive than ever (over 1 million 990 filings a year), and it's very hard to be found. If you are confident in your programs' efficacy, make the investment to pitch a foundation for which the geographic and mission goals overlap. It's more work, but a foundation that believes in the mission will usually make a significant commitment to underwrite the cause because they would rather the organization be delivering change rather than fundraising.

Nettra Pan PhD Candidate and Research Assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

September 27th, 2015

Crowdfunding could be an easy way to go -- it requires a lot of time, follow-up and effort, but can be done with little actual capital. There are some great resources around on how to launch an effective campaign, complete with templates of emails and so forth -- they are made for new ventures, but you can adpat them for your non-profit. I like:

Steven S --

September 25th, 2015

Mike, I'd like your feedback on what we're building to help keep donors engaged.Would you take a look,

Michael Sande Founding Partner

September 28th, 2015

I have founded a nonprofit as well, we are 13 months old and fundraising is our biggest challenge. Steve S i look forward to learning more about scanpop and others thanks and continue to share your ideas!!!!

Lucas E Wall

September 24th, 2015

I'd say the Benevon program. Check it out, it has a long history and track record of success. I have seen it implemented in a nonprofit and it was a tremendous success. It has a cost, but they can help you identify who could give you a grant to get your staff on board. Good luck!

Chris Bechtel Digital Marketing Executive, Customer Acquisition, SaaS Sales Coach, Start-Up Advisor and Growth Hacker

September 24th, 2015

Check out They produce a lot of resources and webinars on the topic of fund raising for non-profits. Chris Bechtel 310-963-5692

Andrew Lockley Investments & consulting for tech startups

September 25th, 2015

Grants. Hire a grant applications fundraiser on a commission basis.

Deanna Kosaraju COO (Contract Position) at Women's Startup Lab

September 24th, 2015

Foundations usually don't supply unrestricted funding. They give you money for a specific reason. Where I have had the most success with unrestricted funds is through programs that generate revenue. If a program can generate a "net profit" - meaning income exceeds program expenses, that net is unrestricted. As programs grow, so does this net. 

DS Benbow (1) Product/Services Builder, (2) Innovative Engagement/Growth Strategies, (3)Team Focus

September 24th, 2015

The link below isn't going to help you turn on a dime, but hopefully may expand how your think about the economics and approach to revenue acquisition: