Reader Question: How do I start an individual donor program?

Photo by crystaljingsr

Dear Kristen:

Due to our lack of funds, my first project is to develop a private donor program for my organization. I think they are mostly interested in trying to find potential donors and figuring out a way to solicit funds. I am writing you to ask if you know of any resources (books, websites) you think might be helpful to me while trying to come up with a plan.

As our economic climate continues to shift, organizations that have been heavily dependent on government/foundation contracts and grants have begun looking at beginning or developing their individual donor program.

My response:

There are several resources available that I can think of right away. Here are a few you might consider:

Books
Conducting a Successful Annual Giving Program
The Relentlessly Practical Guide to Raising Serious Money: Proven Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations
Building Your Direct Mail Program

Classes/workshops
MNCN’s fundraising lunches are great. If you live in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) or can make it down, they are free and can give you great tips/advice. There really aren’t many workshops/classes in Minnesota that are specifically about how to start an individual donor program. There are a couple nationwide, but I am assuming your organization wouldn’t have the resources to pay for your travel and a large workshop cost (correct me if I am wrong).

Websites
Starting a monthly donor program
Starting a donor program
Building a donor base
Minnesot Council of Nonprofit’s resources for fundraising

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2 Responses to “Reader Question: How do I start an individual donor program?”

  1. Cristie Aird Says:

    I am a student and i found your information on the site very useful for my study, Please keep it up.

  2. Coleman Bourgoin Says:

    I find your site to be very useful, lots of good information keep it up.

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