Do's and Don'ts of Soliticing Funds for Your Nonprofit

Do’s and Don’ts of Soliticing Funds for Your Nonprofit

With fundraising, the right strategy is key in garnering support for your nonprofit.

At the core of any successful nonprofit is it’s fundraising base. And when it comes to attracting donors and supporters, its vital to have a good strategy to approaching the solicitation of funds to keep the nonprofit going. So what’s the best way to go about doing that, and where do you begin? talked with Tracey Webb, founder and editor of and The Black Benefactors, a philanthropic network that provides grants to organizations serving the African-American community, on the dos and don’ts of gathering funds to support your organization and how a nonprofit can best approach it.

Best Ways to Approach Fundraising:

Start with your board of directors: “[They] should be your first donors.  These individuals are the best marketers for your organization,” Webb says. “Then, use their professional network to engage prospective donors and volunteers.  If your board is large enough, create a fundraising committee to begin your donation campaign.”

Tout your successes and the work your nonprofit does. Webb advises making sure you have solid marketing materials that effectively highlight your organization and its successes.  “These are often the first thing a prospective donor sees,” she says.

Be specific when it comes to how the money will be spent. ” Have an exciting new project or a new funder?  Announce it in a press release,” Webb advises.

Build sound relationships. Webb suggests getting involved with local seminars, panels, conferences and other nonprofit events to network  meet key stakeholders in your area of focus.  “This will help your organization to build visibility in the community that will lead to a network of new supporters,” she says.

Ask for volunteer or pro-bono services. “In this economy, there are some that may want to give financially, but are unable to do so.  These individuals may feel more engaged and decide to donate at a later time,” Webb says.

Red Flags for Donors:

An outdated Website: “Make sure your web site is kept up to date with news, accomplishments and photos or video of your program in action, ” Webb says. “This will give prospective donors a sense of how their contribution will be used.” Be sure to include important information on your site such as your board of directors, financial backers, supporters, and any press/media that highlights your nonprofit’s work.

An unclear mission: Your marketing materials should clearly state why your organization exists; your mission, goals and objectives; the services provided, and your outcomes and success stories.

Difficult to donate: Accessibility can make or break a donor’s enthusiasm for giving. “Your web site and any social media sites should have an easy-to-find link for donors to make a secure donation online and instructions on donating via mail,” Webb says.  ” Once you receive a donation, don’t forget to thank the donor in a timely manner.”

Read more about nonprofit success in Nonprofit: Doing Well by Doing Good.

For more on nonprofits, check out our Nonprofit Insider articles.