Fundraising Guru


Below you will find all of our past articles to help you with your fundraising grants. It is a long list of articles so don't hesitate to bookmark this page and come back often. If you would like more great fundraising information in the future then please sign up for an email notification whenever we publish a new article.

Small Grants as Building Blocks of Larger Budgets

Seeking grant funds for a program with a large budget is a challenge: small grants of a few thousand dollars are much more common and easier to get. Large grants (those $50,000 and more) are fewer and more competitive. One way to work around this problem is to apply for several small grants, requesting each to fund a portion of the program. Here are five things you can do to effectively divide your program and secure grant funding for each smaller part of the large program.

Your Grant Proposal's Been Rejected: Now What?

A few year's back I did some work with a struggling educational nonprofit. During my initial review of their past foundation support, I discovered on their list a foundation whose mission I thought aligned perfectly with this organization's, and also had a history of repeat funding. Yet, year after year, the foundation had declined this organization's proposals - even one year when they had specifically been invited to apply.
Frankly I didn't get it. It was tempting to put them in the "they'll never fund us pile" but I picked up the phone to call their executive director. Not knowing if I'd even reach a live person, I was delighted when he answered himself. I asked him rather bluntly why his foundation had not funded us. One month, one letter, and one site visit later the organization was the recipient of a $15,000 grant - the first of many.

Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 1

Too many well-meaning staff and volunteers let themselves get bogged down in unproductive attitudes and habits about grants. Chapter 1 of Demystifying Grant Seeking : what you reallly need to do to get grants asserts it's possible to get more grant money while reducing hassle and anguish. The key is dismissing myths and fears and taking on a more empowered point of view, where your organization is a true equal partner in the grantmaking agreement. Along the way, the chapter provides a general introduction to the world of grant seeking.

Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 2

Though the specific requirements of grant makers vary, and your proposals should be tailored for each funder, all grant applications involve just one basic activity: responding to a set of questions about your nonprofit organization and its programs. This set of questions varies little from funder to funder. For example: Who and how many people will be served by program X? How will the effectiveness of program Y be evaluated? What other organizations do you collaborate with? What other funds have you sought?

Demystifying Grant Seeking Part 3

It is true that foundation grants make up a relatively small percentage of overall giving in the United States. In 1998, they accounted for slightly less than 10% of all gifts to charity, according to the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel. (In contrast, individual donations accounted for 77%.)

The Fundraising Auction Office

Create your own personal space! Scout about your organization or institution, find an empty office or nook and cranny, and call it your own. Publicize its existence and encourage volunteers and interested parties to stop by and say "hello." Hold small meetings there, and if you have enough volunteers, staff it during office hours to receive calls and donations and to spearhead activities.

The Chinese Auction

If you are looking to put a new spin on an old event, why not try a Chinese Auction? No, it's not an auction targeted at a specific community, but rather an event which includes elements of a raffle and an auction, where participants buy chances to win auction prizes.

Fundraising Live Auction Bidding

Previously we dealt with the need to use a professional auctioneer for your live auction. Now a few hints on the bidding process.
All eyes and ears are on the auctioneer and the bidding has begun. Once the gavel is raised ....

How to Obtain Fundraising Auction Donations

An auction is only as good as the items you have to sell. Here are some quick tips to follow for getting donations.
Business Donations
A business that donates will be listed in the auction catalog, and its merchandise or gift certificate will be displayed at the event, where it will be viewed by hundreds of people.
First call the company and find ....

Finding Corporate Donors for Fundraising Auctions

Most large corporations and chain stores make auction donations from their central office. The larger the business, the larger the potential gift—and usually the more red tape to deal with. Sometimes you will hit pay dirt with your first phone call, but more often you'll have to combine a dozen or so calls, letters, and appointments to get the job done. It's worth the effort.

Using the Bell Curve in Fundraising Auctions

Auctions are a lively fundraiser option, either as a stand alone event or as part of a larger dinner event. There is a specific strategy used for placing items for bid in auctions that will help bring in the most money for your charity. Use the Bell Curve strategy to your advantage in your next live auction.
Once you've gathered your auction items, review them according to their value and begin to prepare your catalog. If you are working with a professional auctioneer, s/he will help you create the catalog, placing the items in an order that will bring about the greatest income for your charity. However, if you do not have the benefit of a professional, you are not entirely on your own. Using the Bell Curve Strategy will help you place your items in the best order to raise the most money.

Night of the Auction Chairman

Have you ever considered delegating the management of the night of your event to a specific person or a couple. This person or persons will be the major-domo for the night of the auction and will be responsible for organizing the event's orderly flow. They must have knowledge of all committees' needs and must create a logical format and timetable for the hours of actual operation.