Fund Raising Strategies for Success
August 2010 - Vol 1 Issue 2
In This Issue
Common Fund Raising Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Using Your Network to Support Grant Proposals
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Welcome to Pennsylvania Foundations Online e-newsletter.   
Our team of development experts are sharing new fund raising tips with you, along with the latest in information from Pennsylvania Foundations Online and how to maximize your grantseeking efforts.  
Common Fund Raising Mistakes and How to Fix Them
In the last edition we discussed 2 common fund raising mistakes: 
1)  Focusing on your organization's needs rather than on the community need, and
2)  Only communicating with your donors when you ask them for money.
(If you missed that edition, you can access it by visiting our website or clicking here). 

Here's another common mistake:
3)  Not asking for the gift.  
All too often we feel uncomfortable about asking outright for a gift.  So we resort to making indirect allusions to the concept that a gift would be helpful, or that others' support is so important, or we focus solely on how wonderful and effective our programs are, assuming the reader "will get the point."  Well, unfortunately today, many times the reader won't get the point and our solicitations will therefore not produce results. 
Whether you are asking for money in person or in writing, don't be shy about asking for the gift, and asking for a specific amount, if you know enough about the prospect to do so. Clear, simple, direct communication will produce results.  Your prospects need and want to know the size of gift you are seeking.  Phrases like "we'd like you to consider making a gift in the $10,000 range" are polite and respectful, while clearly stating your objective and giving the prospect a target.  Remember you are giving the prospect an opportunity to share in helping to make the world a better place, by supporting your organization's work.  That opportunity is a gift in itself!
Using Your Network to Support Grant Proposals
These days, when foundations are deluged with many more grant requests than they can fund, leveraging your network of board members, volunteers, donors, clients, and friends to support your grant proposals is more important than ever.  It's essential to regularly share with your network the names of trustees and decision makers at the foundations you are applying to, to identify any possible connections and contacts.  That's one of the many values of a subscription to PA Foundations Online, as that information is readily accessible and can be copied and pasted into a Word document or Excel file, or e-mailed.
If a foundation has a professional staff (another detail you will discover in the PA Foundations Online profiles), it is very important that you contact them to inquire how to appropriately utilize your network.  If the foundation doesn't have staff, then ask the person in your network to connect with his/her contact at the foundation and advocate for your request.  Providing a copy of your proposal will help him or her to determine how best to support your request. 

Take a Tour of the New and Improved

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Take a free, quick guided tour of the new PA Foundations Online by clicking here.

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