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Fundraising & Development


Diversification will help your organization grow, and it will prevent it from becoming too dependent on one revenue stream or another. For example, if your organization was formed largely as a result of a government grant, you will soon need to find alternate ways of generating revenue. Eventually, all revenue sources dry up and another one—or more, preferably five or six—need to be ready to take its place.

There are five key areas that will help you craft a well-diversified development function:

  1. Individual giving
  2. Corporate contributions
  3. Foundation grants
  4. Government grants
  5. Special events


Another key to developing a strong development function is to be consistent and persistent in your communications. Your donors or potential donors need to be reminded about your mission, programs and accomplishments on a quarterly basis. If possible, use a newsletter to communicate with your constituency, or if a full newsletter is beyond your capacity, a simple one-page update letter will suffice. You should also issue an annual report or again, an annual letter, which provides an overview of the year’s accomplishments. If possible, also include key numbers from your audit.

Saying Thank You

Say thank you immediately and often. For each donation that your organization receives, be sure to send out a thank you letter signed by either your Board Chair or Executive Director. All of your donors—whether individual, corporate, foundation or government— want to be sure that their contribution is valued and that their support is making a difference.