Fundraising Campaign Information

by : Justin Alan

Could Your Organization Get a Grant?

Firstly, where do grants come from? There are several sources; foundations and federal government, state government, local government and private grants. With the federal government paying out 300 billion dollars each year in grants - not including foundations, there is a distinct possibility that you may be able to get a share.

To do this you will need to be able to demonstrate that your organization is fulfilling a desperate need in the community - and doing it in a way that works and is really innovative and professional. In other words, you need to be good at what you do.

To apply for a grant you need to prepare your application in a way that demonstrates that your organization is fulfilling this need in a way that is innovative and unlike others. Set out your organization's aims, goals and what you hope to accomplish in the future, as well as your past accomplishments.

The application will go before a grants committee who may not be able to relate naturally to your project, therefore it is essential that you include such things as a case study of the help given in the past, and demonstrate the need for your project by including pertinent and specific facts.

Your plan should reach into the future by at least twelve months, with projections aimed at both financial needs and accomplishments. Pay particular attention to your budgets, both past, present and future. The slightest hint of dishonesty or inaccuracy will put your hopes of a grant beyond the pale.

Information about foundation grants is not that easy to find, but if you go to The Foundation Center's website you'll be able to access foundation summaries and contact information. Details of the latest grants are available via electronic newsletters. You could even take their course on grant seeker training to learn the proper basics of grant writing and budgeting. Using The Community Foundation Locator you can access grants information in your geographical area by the use of an online map.

You may be able to access even more information from your local library, as many subscribe to national databases like the Foundation Directory Online.

For information about government grants, go to or

If you are fundraising as an individual rather than an organization, or if your organization is a private or a for-profit one, then you will not be eligible for a grant. A not-for-profit organization is one in which the members do not benefit from any part - surplus or otherwise - of the monies made. When and if the organization closes, then surplus finances must be distributed to a similar not-for-profit organization.

How to Accept Fundraising Donations Online

Once you have your fundraiser website set up, the next step is to monetize it. This can be done in a number of different ways. There are organizations that specialize in selling a number of goodies such as cookies, candles, light bulbs and many other types of things for fundraising and they offer lots of help.

These days most people accept that shopping online is a safe and secure way to go. It saves them the hassle of negotiating traffic, finding a parking space and finding time to go in the first place. In fact shopping online is cheaper and easier all round.

So how does this selling online thing work? You don't have to have a room full of goods at your home to sell and you don't have to pack and post. You can simply deal with people called drop shippers who take the order and post it off to the correct address with no hassles for you to worry about. How good is that? In fact, it's far better than you buying a quantity of goods and having the risk of not selling them all.

All you need is an online catalogue for your customers and you can change the goods around to reflect the seasons if you want to. Or if you see that something is not selling very well, you can change it for something else. Paypal is a secure way to accept donations or for people to pay for their goods online. It is quite simple to install a Paypal button or shopping cart on your website. Firstly you need to get your Paypal account which is free, and then read the easy instructions on their website for installing their button.

When you are setting up your website, there are things called Meta tags that you need to make your website visible to the search engines and so to people who might be searching online for your products. Don't panic! A Meta tag box will usually be provided automatically. You just need to fill it in with certain words. These words should reflect what you are selling, such as candy bars, candles or whatever it is. Meta tags are invisible to all but search engines, but they are certainly necessary.

If you do your fundraising with the help of a fundraising organization, you may be able to get lots of help such as customizable donations pages with downloadable or printable receipt options, automated tax receipts and thank you message, tell-a friend and email features and even survey questions and donation tracking facilities. Low processing costs apply, but it's worth it for all the features.

How to Create a Gift Campaign to Raise Funds for Your Organization

Fundraising depends on a number of strategies to acquire the needed funds. There can be product fundraising, which relies on the sale of a product such as cookies, chocolate or a non-consumable product. There can also be event fund-raising which, as its name suggests, is when the fundraisers organize an event and sell tickets to it. A variation of this is the 'a-thon' in which participants often solicit their own funding, e.g. parents or grandparents sponsor a certain number of kilometers for the participant to walk.

Then there is the gift campaign, where people are challenged to pledge an amount of money for no return except perhaps a good reputation and to see good come from their gift. In this case the cause needs to be presented primarily as an investment to the giver, rather than a need. For instance, better educational facilities will eventually translate into better-trained employees for a company in the district that recruits and trains staff from the surrounding area. They may even save a considerable amount on future training of their staff.

So rather than selling tickets for a raffle or function or thinking of some other way to raise money such as an 'a-thon', it might be feasible for your organization to create a gift campaign to raise money. A gift campaign will encourage donors to pledge gifts over a period of time, so that the increase grows with a minimum of work, even if it takes a lot to put it into place the first time.

However, you must ask yourself if your organization is ready for this major step. While a gift campaign if done properly, is sure to raise a great deal of money, you do need to have plenty of staff and the resources to put into the effort. There must be adequate preparation before the campaign actually begins. It will be necessary to have a strong base support of giving from the Board of Trustee members, while guidance from a Development Committee will be invaluable.

Companies and individuals should be identified as prospective donors and rated on the amount they could be expected to give. The report presented to them must be compelling and show how they are likely to benefit from their gift. They like to be able to write it off their tax as well as see some other benefits.

They can be presented with the option of a challenge to match another gift, but the most important part is that they should be made to feel a valuable part of the whole process and to this end, kept informed of all the past, present and future data as it becomes available.

More to come in Part 6...