Nonprofit organizations are always looking for ways in which to raise money to support their respective operation. The following list provides some traditional methods for generating revenue but it also includes some ideas you may not have previously thought about or considered. Assess which methods might work best for your organization, then develop and implement your fundraising plan.

1. Applying for foundation and government grants, based on your mission statement and the areas they fund.

2. Negotiating contracts with governmental entities and/or the private sector to provide specific services.

3. Selling advertisement space in your newsletter. Consider offering different levels of advertisement to accommodate the advertiser’s needs and budget.

4. Selling advertisement space on your website. Consider offering different levels of advertisement as mentioned in #3 above.

5. Developing and hosting annual fundraising events, such as golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, cookoffs, etc. Consider having a raffle or silent auction as part of your fundraising event.

6. Participating in a “combined company campaign.” This type of campaign includes nonprofit organizations that are looking for donations and a list of companies involved in the campaign. Company employees can choose which nonprofit organizations they donate to, and the amount of their annual donation.

7. Selling products with your organization's logo, such as pens, key chains, T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.

8. Developing and running a small business. Besides generating revenue, this social entrepreneurship venture could provide an opportunity for clients to develop work skills and/or work.

9. Developing and selling a cookbook comprised of favorite recipes from staff, board members, and other stakeholders.

10. Capitalizing on the expertise and experience of your staff members, develop and conduct training programs where attendees pay a fee. Record the training sessions and develop CD/DVDs and/or training manuals for sale. Sell these products on your website.

11. Collaborating with other agencies to develop and host conferences where individuals pay a registration fee to attend.

12. Developing a multi-level membership program. The higher the membership level, the more perks the member will receive.

13. Developing a planned giving/estate/endowment program. Individuals interested in your mission may want to ensure that part or all of their assets are distributed to your organization when they die.

14. Developing a memorial gift program. This gives individuals the opportunity to make a gift in memory of a loved one or friend. Or, they can make a gift as a living tribute in honor of someone they care about.

15. Developing and sustaining relationships with for-profit corporations that share your mission and/or have the same interests.

16. Soliciting donations from board members or requesting that they contribute a specific amount of money per year. If they are unable to contribute their own money, then they should be responsible for soliciting funds from family members, friends, or colleagues to equal the amount for which they are responsible.

17. Developing and implementing a fee-for-service program, based on the client's income or ability to pay.

18. Sub-leasing office space. If you have extra space available at your organization, consider renting it to an individual or another organization.

19. Hiring or contracting with a grant writer or development director. These professionals not only save you time and energy, but they are skilled in identifying and securing funds from a wide variety of sources.

20. Develop a volunteer pool. Volunteers can tackle projects that you would normally pay a staff person to do, saving you hundreds of dollars. Also, empower your volunteers to solicit donations, and identify and secure potential sponsors.

Fundraising is an ongoing process for nonprofit organizations. Although it is suggested that you try as many of the ideas above as possible, select those methods which might work best for your organization, depending on the size your staff and available resources. Then develop, implement, and monitor a fundraising plan.

Copyright 2009 © Sharon L. Mikrut, All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

If you want to make positive changes in your personal and/or professional life, and create the life you desire and deserve, then working with Executive & Life Coach, Sharon L. Mikrut, is the solution. Although her specialty is in partnering with nonprofit executive directors and managers to maximize their resources in a competitive environment, she is passionate about working with all individuals committed to personal and/or professional growth. Visit her website at and sign up for her free monthly messages, tidbits, and resource information. In addition, visit her “Nonprofit Professionals” blog at Sharon is also available to speak to your group, association or organization.