It all started somewhere. No matter how big the organization, it probably started with those first stumbling steps.
At a recent conference on fundraising sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Aina Gutierrez of Interfaith Worker Justice, Joan Flanagan, a fundraiser for the Center for New Community, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (ICWJ) of San Diego County, Bet Lawrence, ICWJ program coordinator and organizer, offered suggestions on how an organization can make its first $100,000.
Although they cautioned against a one-size-fits-all approach, they did emphasize certain guidelines:
- Fundraising provides an opportunity for inside evaluation and an idea of what the community regards as value.
- Fundraising is a way to build solidarity, raise money and connect to values.
- Fundraising can be done by people of any age.
- Fundraising from people is asking for money and is not a quick fix, but it is dependable and renewable, is internally controlled and provides multiple sources.
- 76 percent of fundraised money in 2006 came from individuals, according to Giving USA.
- Big money comes from individuals who are asked.
- Independence comes from a diverse set of dependable revenue streams.
- The job of the fundraiser is to make the obvious explicit. You get what you ask for.
- Getting money from individuals? Begin with the board, then membership dues, annual donations, major gifts and special events.