Archive for May 18th, 2012

May 18, 2012

4 Simple Steps to Raising All the Money Your Nonprofit Needs

Sandy Rees, CFRE is a nonprofit fundraising coach who has a particular knack for simplifying complex concepts in a helpful way. She’s distilled her ideas into a book: Get Fully Funded: How to Raise the Money of Your Dreams.

Her book breaks the fundraising process into a number of steps that many fundraising professionals are likely to find familiar while the territory might be new for chief executives and board members. But, not satisfied with providing just a review of the fundamentals, Sandy does two valuable things:

1. She includes a step that is often taken for granted, and thus overlooked, by many authors: preparation. In this section, she looks at things like how to: make fundraising a priority, manage time, get organized, be ethical, and build an infrastructure that will allow fundraisers to be successful.

2. For each step of the process, Sandy drills down into the subject to get readers to address issues and ideas they may never have considered.

I appreciate that Sandy has chosen to share some of her insights here. Those new to fundraising will certainly appreciate Sandy’s accessible approach. Readers with fundraising experience will find that many, if not all, of the overarching ideas in the article will be familiar. But, from time-to-time, it behooves us all to not only review the fundamentals, but think of them more deeply. As we gain experience throughout our careers, we’ll be able to gain new insights as we revisit the basics.

Want to raise the “money of your dreams”? Read on:


In the world of nonprofits, you can’t do much in the way of service delivery or mission fulfillment without money.

For fundraising staff, that means it is all about raising money. Sometimes, it can be a big challenge. I’ve spent years raising money for all kinds of nonprofit organizations, and I know what works and what doesn’t. One thing I know for sure is that we must aim high.

I learned early on in my career to shoot for the stars. This came from my unwillingness to settle. I saw so many people waiting to be helped at the rescue mission and at the food bank. I knew that if I raised more money, we could help more of them. So, I started working toward fully funding my organization. I wanted to do everything in my power to make sure that people had a warm bed and a hot meal. 

I call it “Getting Fully Funded.” It means that your nonprofit’s staff have everything they need to deliver service. It means that all the bills are paid and you have a rainy day fund established. You have lots of happy and engaged donors. You have diversified revenue streams and fundraising is fun. It’s a wonderful place to be!

Before you can Get Fully Funded, there are a few things you need to have in place. You must have:

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