Nonprofit Insider: 4 Steps to Fundraising for Your Nonprofit - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Given the global financial crisis, fund raising has become more difficult than ever before. So when it comes to raising money for your nonprofit organization’s big ideas, think outside of the box, says Samuel T. Jackson, founder of the Economic Empowerment Initiative (EEI), an organization that provides financial literacy training, leadership, and business development skills to youth and young adults in underserved communities.  EEI’s free seminar topics include: budgeting, credit cards and debt, saving and investing, understanding student loans, understanding insurance, how to buy a car, homeownership, understanding taxes, entrepreneurship 101, philanthropy, and understanding employee benefits.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project–where Pepsi will give away $20 million in 2010 to fund people, businesses, and nonprofits with big ideas that will positively impact the community–EEI has been able to expand its seminars. Now it can include more college and high school campuses and host national events to help more youth and their families achieve financial literacy.  Jackson shared with the Nonprofit Insider these four tips to planning a successful fundraiser.

1) Start planning early. Nonprofits should begin planning fundraising events six to 12 months in advance to allow adequate time to build the necessary alliances, secure venues and sponsors, and develop an event theme that will result in a blockbuster event. Nonprofits should also explore partners that will consider donating space and food in-kind or on an “at cost” basis.  Don’t spend most of your organization’s dollars on food, venues, entertainment and décor (flowers, lighting, audio/video equipment, staging, etc.). The more items you can get donated or at a reduced cost, the more dollars you can allot for actual programs.

2) Form a planning committee. It’s important to assemble a strong and capable team of volunteers to help execute your fundraiser. Be sure to assign clear tasks or create subcommittees (e.g., sponsorships, ticket sales, décor, program) to ensure that all the details are accounted for.  Identify people in your network who are actively involved in the community with their company, sorority, fraternity, school, or other nonprofit organization, who can help you raise funds or enlist volunteers for your event.

3) Develop a list of potential sponsors/donors. You don’t have to start from scratch when reaching out to potential donors. Approach companies, small businesses, and individuals that are familiar with your organization.  Start with board members and members of the planning committee to get a strong group of supporters. Also, develop fundraising ideas that appeal to stakeholders, board members, and other supporters to help rally support behind your event.

4) Showcase the work of your organization. Highlight and celebrate the clients, partners, staff and sponsors that have collaborated to help the organization make an impact. Honoring the people who make the work possible helps make the case for why more dollars are needed for programs.  Testimonials by program participants are also very important. They help sponsors and supporters really see their money at work and know that their donation is making a huge difference.

For more information on raising funds for or giving funds to a nonprofit visit:

Pepsi Refresh Project

Fundraiser Insight

‘Tis Better to Give, But Don’t Get Taken

Uplifting the Next Generation

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.