Tag Archives: fundraising

How to Raise Funds for Non-Profits

Joi Ito has a great post on fundraising here

Good executive directors (ED) were also the main fund raisers and they generally loved fund raising. In fact, there was a strong opinion of many that any ED who wasn’t excited about fund raising, shouldn’t be the ED.

Fund raising is about relationships and building relationships and is very different from sales and marketing in normal for-profits.

In a non-profit, you’re not selling some good or service to a customer. What you’re doing is helping the donor fulfill or pursue a dream or a cause. In order to be successful you have to understand the donor and become part of their world view.

Many non-profits think of donors as a funding source to pay for programs that execute on their mission. In fact, donors should be part of the mission. Good non-profits integrate the funding model directly into the mission. Churches are usually MUCH better at raising money than the natural history museum because "giving" is an integral part of the church-going experience whereas the natural history museum usually tries to collect money from the outside to allow them to run their mission internally.


Yesterday I went to a fundraiser in the operating room lounge at City Hospital.  Two of the doctors there are donating a heart defibrillator to the Centre and had a lunch fundraiser which consisted of authentic homemade Indian food for $10.  The lounge was packed, the food was terrific and it was fun to stop by.   Other than the doctor himself, we were the only ones not in surgical scrubs.  I don’t know if that means I was over dressed or under dressed.

As we were heading back to the Centre, we decided it was a pretty good way to raise a couple hundred dollars for a project or two once in a while.  From the responses of the medical staff, they loved the food and the change of pace from eating whatever it is that doctors and nurses eat at the hospital (I find it hard to believe they eat the hospital food but that is just me).

As far as the heart defibrillator goes, I hope we never have to use it but if we do, it will save a life.

Now I need to convince Wendy that she needs to teach me how to cook up some curried chicken and Roti for a staff lunch some day.