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Fundraising & Development Resources

Fundraising consumes much of our time and energy in the nonprofit sector, so how do you know if you are maximizing your fundraising potential? The recipe for success may vary from organization to organization, but an effective case statement and a thriving fundraising culture are key elements, as is the ability to cultivate strong donor relationships.

Donor pyramid

Seeking charitable donations has become more complicated in some ways. Tax reform in 2017 increased the standard deduction which dramatically reduced the number of people who itemize charitable donations on their tax returns. Many more people with personal wealth are setting up donor advised funds (DAF) where they receive the tax benefits when the fund is set up, not when the funds are disbursed to a charity.

On the other hand, individual donors continue to make up over 70% of donations each year, and the boomer generation is still predicted to transfer at least $10 trillion in wealth to the next generation in the coming decades. This fact points to the importance of placing an emphasis on planned giving programs.

The following is a list of key components of a successful development program. From board involvement to donor stewardship, how does your organization compare? Do you have:

  • A compelling and urgent case for support driven by solutions to community/societal needs
  • A strong development plan with achievable fundraising goals
  • A strategic plan/goals with measurable objectives that is integrated with the organization’s strategic plan
  • A balanced portfolio of contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations, and perhaps government
  • A solid case for how you are fulfilling the organization’s mission
  • Fundraising activities that enhance the organization’s image
  • Gratified volunteers
  • Fulfilled donor-investors
  • Giving priorities that are both aligned with the organization’s priorities and appeal to donors
  • Involved board members, senior executives, and CEO
  • Excellence in relationship management and donor communication and stewardship
  • An organizational culture supportive of fundraising
  • A focus on major gifts
Pick three of these items where you think your organization can improve and put a plan in place, supported by your board, volunteers and key supporters to increase your capacity for fundraising.

Resources for Effective Fundraising

Some of our favorite resources about fundraising are below. If you find a book, website or tool of value, let us know and we will add it here.



Giving Days

Fundraising Links

Grant Information Links