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A starter kit for leaders of social change. Money is a constant topic of conversation among nonprofit leaders : How much do we need? Where can we find it? In tough economic times, these types of questions become more frequent and pressing. Unfortunately, the answers are not readily available.

Fundraising

A starter kit for leaders of social change. Money is a constant topic of conversation among nonprofit leaders : How much do we need? Where can we find it? In tough economic times, these types of questions become more frequent and pressing. Unfortunately, the answers are not readily available.

There are consequences to this financial fuzziness. Too often, the result is that promising programs are cut, curtailed, or never launched. And when dollars become tight, a chaotic fundraising scramble is all the more likely to ensue. In the for-profit world, by contrast, there is a much higher degree of clarity on financial issues.

This is particularly true when it comes to understanding how different businesses operate, which can be encapsulated in a set of principles known as business models.

The value of such shorthand is that it allows business leaders to articulate quickly and clearly how they will succeed in the marketplace, and it allows investors to quiz executives more easily about how they intend to make money.

This back-and-forth increases the odds that businesses will succeed, investors will make money, and everyone will learn more from their experiences. That is because the different types of funding that fuel nonprofits have never been clearly defined. Through our research, we have identified 10 nonprofit models that are commonly used by the largest nonprofits in the United States. Our intent is not to prescribe a single approach for a given nonprofit to pursue. Instead, we hope to help nonprofit leaders articulate more clearly the models that they believe could support the growth of their organizations, and use that insight to examine the potential and constraints associated with those models.

One reason why the nonprofit sector has not developed its own lexicon of funding models is that running a nonprofit is generally more complicated than running a comparable size for-profit business. When a for-profit business finds a way to create value for a customer, it has generally found its source of revenue; the customer pays for the value. With rare exceptions, that is not true in the nonprofit sector.

When a nonprofit finds a way to create value for a beneficiary for example, integrating a prisoner back into society or saving an endangered species , it has not identified its economic engine. That is a separate step. Duke University business professor J. Gregory Dees, in his work on social entrepreneurship, describes the need to understand both the donor value proposition and the recipient value proposition.

As a result of this distinction between beneficiary and funder, the critical aspects and accompanying vocabulary of nonprofit funding models need to be understood separately from those of the for-profit world.

It is also why we use the term funding model rather than business model to describe the framework. A business model incorporates choices about the cost structure and value proposition to the beneficiary. A funding model, however, focuses only on the funding, not on the programs and services offered to the beneficiary.

All nonprofit executives can use our 10 funding models to improve their fundraising and management, but the usefulness of these models becomes particularly important as nonprofits get bigger. Our research of large nonprofits confirms this. Each had also built up highly professional internal fundraising capabilities targeted at those sources. In other words, each of the largest nonprofits had a well-developed funding model.

The larger the amount of funding needed, the more important it is to follow preexisting funding markets where there are particular decision makers with established motivations. Large groups of individual donors, for example, are already joined by common concerns about various issues, such as breast cancer research. And major government funding pools, to cite another example, already have specific objectives, such as foster care. Although a nonprofit that needs a few million dollars annually may convince a handful of foundations or wealthy individuals to support an issue that they had not previously prioritized, a nonprofit trying to raise tens of millions of dollars per year can rarely do so.

The first Earth Day in coincided with a major expansion in giving to environmental causes; the Ethiopian famine of led to a dramatic increase in support for international relief; and awareness of the U.

Changes cannot be foreseen, however, and, hence, can not be depended on as a source of funding. Earl Martin Phalen, cofounder of BELL, an after-school and summer educational organization, captured the benefits of such intentionality well, summing up his experience for a group of nonprofit leaders in Then we got serious in thinking about our model and identified an ongoing type of government funding that was a good match for our work. While it required some program changes to work, we now predictably cover 70 percent of our costs in any locality through this approach.

Devising a framework for nonprofit funding presents challenges. To be useful, the models cannot be too general or too specific. For example, a community health clinic serving patients covered by Medicaid and a nonprofit doing development work supported by the U. Agency for International Development are both government funded, yet the type of funding they get, and the decision makers controlling the funding, are very different.

Lumping the two together in the same model would not be useful. At the same time, designating a separate model for nonprofits that receive Title I SES funds, for example, is too narrow to be useful.

In the end, we settled on three parameters to define our funding models—the source of funds, the types of decision makers, and the motivations of the decision makers. This allowed us to identify 10 distinct funding models at level that is broadly relevant yet defines real choices.

One possible model was nonprofits supported by earned-income ventures distinct and separate from their core mission-related activities. Another possible model was nonprofits that operated on a strictly fee-for-service model in either a business-to-business or direct-to-consumer fashion, without important supplementary fundraising from members or prior beneficiaries or underlying government support.

Although there are some nonprofits supporting themselves with such funding approaches, they were not present among the large nonprofits that we studied. It is our belief that these types of approaches do not lend themselves to large-scale, sustained nonprofit advantage over for-profit entities. What follows are descriptions of the 10 funding models, along with profiles of representative nonprofits for each model. The models are ordered by the dominant type of funder.

The first three models Heartfelt Connector, Beneficiary Builder, and Member Motivator are funded largely by many individual donations. The next model Big Bettor is funded largely by a single person or by a few individuals or foundations. The next model Resource Recycler is supported largely by corporate funding.

And the last two models Market Maker and Local Nationalizer have a mix of funders. Beneficiary Builder Some nonprofits, such as the Cleveland Clinic, are reimbursed for services that they provide to specific individuals, but rely on people who have benefited in the past from these services for additional donations. We call the funding model that these organizations use the Beneficiary Builder. Two of the best examples of Beneficiary Builders are hospitals and universities. But the total cost of delivering the benefit is not covered by the fees.

As a result, the nonprofit tries to build long-term relationships with people who have benefited from the service to provide supplemental support, hence the name Beneficiary Builder. Although these donations are often small relative to fees averaging approximately 5 percent at hospitals and 30 percent at private universities , these funds are critical sources of income for major projects such as building, research, and endowment funds.

Donors are often motivated to give money because they believe that the benefit they received changed their life. Organizations using a Beneficiary Builder model tend to obtain the majority of their charitable support from major gifts. Princeton University is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Beneficiary Builder model. The university has become very adept at tapping alumni for donations, boasting the highest alumni-giving rate among national universities— Nonprofit leaders considering the Beneficiary Builder funding model should ask themselves the following questions:.

Member Motivator There are some nonprofits, such as Saddleback Church, that rely on individual donations and use a funding model we call Member Motivator. These individuals who are members of the nonprofit donate money because the issue is integral to their everyday life and is something from which they draw a collective benefit. Nonprofits using the Member Motivator funding model do not create the rationale for group activity, but instead connect with members and donors by offering or supporting the activities that they already seek.

These organizations are often involved in religion, the environment, or arts, culture, and humanities. A significant portion of the money raised is dedicated to land and turkey conservation in the community from which it was donated.

Nonprofit leaders considering the Member Motivator funding model should ask themselves the following questions:. Beneficiary Broker Some nonprofits, such as the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, compete with one another to provide government-funded or backed services to beneficiaries. Nonprofits that do this use what we call a Beneficiary Broker funding model. Among the areas where Beneficiary Brokers compete are housing, employment services, health care, and student loans. What distinguishes these nonprofits from other government-funded programs is that the beneficiaries are free to choose the nonprofit from which they will get the service.

The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership MBHP , a regional nonprofit administering state and federal rental assistance voucher programs in 30 Massachusetts communities, is an example of a nonprofit that uses the Beneficiary Broker funding model.

Since launching the organization in , MBHP has developed a reputation as a reliable provider of housing vouchers for families in need. MBHP is the largest provider of housing vouchers in the Boston area, connecting more than 7, families to housing at any one time. MBHP also provides related services, such as education and homelessness prevention programs.

The remaining funds come from corporations and foundations. Nonprofit leaders considering the Beneficiary Broker funding model should ask themselves the following questions:. Resource Recycler Some nonprofits, such as AmeriCares Foundation, have grown large by collecting in-kind donations from corporations and individuals, and then distributing these donated goods to needy recipients who could not have purchased them on the market.

Nonprofits that operate these types of programs use a funding model we call Resource Recycler. Businesses are willing to donate goods because they would otherwise go to waste for example, foods with an expiration date , or because the marginal cost of making the goods is low and they will not be distributed in markets that would compete with the producer for example, medications in developing countries. In kind donations typically account for the majority of revenues, but Resource Recyclers must raise additional funds to support their operating costs.

The vast majority of Resource Recyclers are involved in food, agriculture, medical, and nutrition programs and often are internationally focused. This organization distributes nearly 30 million pounds of food annually to more than local organizations, including food pantries, soup kitchens, day care centers, senior centers, and homeless shelters. TGBFB acquires goods in many ways. The dominant sources of goods are retailers and manufacturers. It also receives surplus food from restaurants and hotels.

Cash donations from individuals make up the remaining 25 percent of revenues, covering overhead and capital improvements. Nonprofit leaders considering the Resource Recycler funding model should ask themselves the following questions:. Market Maker Some nonprofits, such as the Trust for Public Land, provide a service that straddles an altruistic donor and a pay or motivated by market forces.

Even though there is money available to pay for the service, it would be unseemly or unlawful for a for-profit to do so. Nonprofits that provide these services use a funding model we call Market Maker.

Nonprofit Fundraising in the Age of Coronavirus

The nonprofit performing arts industry in the United States is facing crises on a variety of fronts. After two boom decades, its unprecedented growth has ground to a halt. By , ticket revenues for nonprofit performing arts organizations exceeded ticket revenues for sporting events. Many arts organizations displayed their newfound affluence in more elaborate productions, larger management staffs, and new performance facilities that contain more seats to fill than the old ones. For the first time, midsize orchestras gave their musicians full-year contracts instead of fee-for-service agreements, thereby providing them with a welcome measure of financial security formerly enjoyed only by musicians with large symphony orchestras in major cities. These changes reflected optimism in continued growth in both audiences and contributions.

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Fundraising or fund-raising is the process of seeking and gathering voluntary financial contributions by engaging individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. Although fundraising typically refers to efforts to gather money for non-profit organizations , it is sometimes used to refer to the identification and solicitation of investors or other sources of capital for for-profit enterprises. Traditionally, fundraising has consisted mostly of asking for donations through face-to-face fundraising , such as door-knocking. In recent years, though, new forms such as online fundraising or reformed version of grassroots fundraising have emerged. Fundraising is a significant way that non-profit organizations may obtain the money for their operations. These operations can involve a very broad array of concerns such as religious or philanthropic groups such as research organizations, public broadcasters , political campaigns and environmental issues. Some examples of charitable organizations include student scholarship merit awards for athletic or academic achievement, humanitarian and ecological concerns, disaster relief, human rights , research , and other social issues.


Download File PDF Successful Fundraising For Arts And Cultural. Organizations fundraising. Mal Warwick includes practical approaches for difficult economic.


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Nonprofits face a conundrum in times of crisis, and especially during the present pandemic. The best approach is to continue to make solicitations, but only after first demonstrating empathy and commitment to the people they serve. During this time of dislocation, fear, and trauma, nonprofits are struggling mightily.

The situation is rapidly changing and people who normally would not be eligible for unemployment--such as self-employed, freelance, and gig workers--may in fact be able to receive benefits. Be patient--they may not have built out the resources you need yet! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Susan E. Totten, Senior Vice President. Arts and culture organizations increasingly look towards large-scale fundraising campaigns as a way to achieve their visions while stabilizing their financial models.

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Ten Nonprofit Funding Models

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