Monday, October 13, 2008

Reader Question: How do I start an individual donor program?

Dear Kristen:

Due to our lack of funds, my first project is to develop a private donor program for my organization. I think they are mostly interested in trying to find potential donors and figuring out a way to solicit funds. I am writing you to ask if you know of any resources (books, websites) you think might be helpful to me while trying to come up with a plan.

As our economic climate continues to shift, organizations that have been heavily dependent on government/foundation contracts and grants have begun looking at beginning or developing their individual donor program.

My response:

There are several resources available that I can think of right away. Here are a few you might consider:

Conducting a Successful Annual Giving Program
The Relentlessly Practical Guide to Raising Serious Money: Proven Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations
Building Your Direct Mail Program

MNCN's fundraising lunches are great. If you live in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) or can make it down, they are free and can give you great tips/advice. There really aren't many workshops/classes in Minnesota that are specifically about how to start an individual donor program. There are a couple nationwide, but I am assuming your organization wouldn't have the resources to pay for your travel and a large workshop cost (correct me if I am wrong).

Starting a monthly donor program
Starting a donor program
Building a donor base
Minnesot Council of Nonprofit's resources for fundraising


Also, please take a moment to take this quick survey. It only has two questions!