5 Ways to Think Strategically About Your Nonprofit's Fundraising


by Mehron Price

Raise your hand if this sounds like you: You're chasing down grant opportunities left and right. You're constantly scrambling to meet the next funding deadline. As soon as you finish one proposal, the next deadline is upon you.

Do you find yourself struggling to take a long-term view of your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy? Mapping out a long-term fundraising plan will help you work smarter, not harder. Here are 5 tips to help you start thinking more strategically about your nonprofit’s fundraising goals.

1.    Take The Long View

Remember: a core part of fundraising is relationship building. The stronger your relationships are, the more solid your footing when you’re reaching out to funders. However, relationship building in the fundraising world, just like in any arena of life, takes time. Make sure you plan accordingly. Even if you’re turned down for a grant, follow up and see if the funder is able to offer any additional information as to why you were declined. Use the feedback you may receive to make your next grant proposal 10 times better!

2.    Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well

It’s really important to remember the STRATEGY part of your fundraising strategy. You can’t possibly pursue every funding opportunity that comes your way, so a little strategy goes a long way. Before pursuing any grant opportunity, map out how long it will take to pursue. Assess whether the opportunity is a strong enough fit to merit the staff time.

Ask: is this funding opportunity worth pursuing? Is now the right time? Repeat this for each opportunity under consideration. Taking the time in advance to map out where you’re going will prove invaluable in the long run.

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3.    Assess Your Strengths

When considering what your long-term fundraising needs are, don't forget to assess what resources you already bring to the table. What areas can you leverage to supplement your organization’s fundraising?

For example, do you know organizations that can provide in-kind printing services? Have you accounted for the value of all in-kind donations your organization receives when designing your budget? Taking these steps can help paint a more accurate picture of your financial situation to the potential funder from whom you’re seeking support.

4.    Know Your Weaknesses

Conversely, be transparent and up front about the areas of need your nonprofit is facing. Being honest with potential funders with your true areas of need may lead to offers of technical assistance or capacity building support that might fit exactly what your organization needs. If you don’t outline the full extent of your organization's needs up front, you’ll never know what resources are out there!

5.    Get The Help You Need

No one does it all alone. One of the best things you can do is recognize when it’s time to bring in additional help. That's why we offer fundraising consultations that will help you map out a long-term fundraising strategy customized to your nonprofit. Let’s set up your complimentary initial consultation today.

What helps you think strategically about your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Mehron Price is the Founder of Grants on a Mission, a DC based grant writing consultancy. Grants on a Mission provides nonprofits with high-quality support in developing exceptional fundraising strategies. Our vision is to see (and help bring about) a well-resourced nonprofit sector that is able to make strategic decisions based on their missions, not on the next funding cycle. For more information, visit www.grantsonamission.org.