Top Ten Fundraising Tips As Featured in Nonprofit Fundraising 101

Darian Rodriguez Heyman

You dream of a strong, vibrant community and have a sense of how to make it real, but how can you rally the funds you need to connect your vision to action? Darian Rodriguez Heyman, former Craigslist Foundation E.D. and author of the newly-released Nonprofit Fundraising 101, joined Foundation Center West to share concrete tips and tools for individual giving, foundation grants, corporate sponsorship, earned income, and online and peer-to-peer campaigns. 

Click on the tips to watch just that segment of Darian's session on YouTube, or watch the full session in the YouTube window below.

Tip #1: Get Your Story Straight
Your organization’s ability to tell its story will greatly increase your odds of raising money and maximizing your organization’s impact. Darian elaborates on how to tell your story by focusing not just on what you do, but why it matters.

Tip #2: Engage Your Board in Fundraising 
The issue of engaging a nonprofit’s board in fundraising is a pain point for many organizations. Darian mentions key documents that can help - the board matrix and board member agreement - and how to implement them in your organization.

Tip #3: Never Submit a Cold Grant
Submitting proposals to foundations that you have a personal connection with will increase your chances of success greatly.

Tip #4: Make Specific Direct Asks
“The number one reason why people don’t give is because they’re not asked” – Hank Rosso. Darian discusses how to improve individual donor cultivation.

Tip #5: Map Donations to Impact
Give donors an idea of the impact their gift has on the people you serve.

Tip #6: Make Your Donation Button Shine 
An organization’s Donate Now button has a large impact on its ability to raise money effectively online. Tweaking your donate button can increase your online donations exponentially. Network for Good provides resources on their website that can help nonprofits get the most out of their Donate Now buttons.

Tip #7: Corporate Partnerships
Corporate partnerships have a different set of rules than foundation partnerships. It’s easier to get stuff from corporations than it is to get money. Darian shares multiple ways that nonprofits can work with corporations.

Tip #8: Apply for a Google Grant
Did you know that Google provides $10,000/month for advertising on Google? Find out more at google.com/grants.

Tip #9: Say Thank You!
It’s easier to keep a donor than to get a new one, but it’s very easy to damage the relationship. The simplest way to show your appreciation is to say thank-you.

Tip #10: Understand the Social Capital Market
Earned income is an excellent way to ensure nonprofit sustainability. However, for nonprofits there’s an extra consideration to take and that is to make sure all your earned income is mission-driven. In addition, make sure there’s a business opportunity there in the first place. You can’t make money off of something no one needs or wants.

An Anecdote on Tin Cup Fundraising
Are you pouring or drinking?





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NATASHA ISAJLOVIC, Lead of Foundation Center West, is responsible for public services and programming in the San Francisco office. Prior to joining the San Francisco team, Natasha worked for Fine Arts Museums San Francisco, Stanford Health Library, and Golden Gate University. Both her Master's degree in Library and Information Science and Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts and English Language and Literature were acquired at Western University. Natasha spends her time away from Foundation Center cooking, travelling, reading, and trying to surf.