Although many foundations prefer to support direct programmatic activities, many do give grants to help nonprofits cover administrative costs, also known as general operating expenses or overhead costs.
Pick a state your nonprofit is connected to, either by its work, where it's board members live or where it raises money. If you don't have any particular connection, you might bypass states like California and New York that heavily regulate nonprofits.
Workplace giving contributes an estimated $5 billion to U.S. charities each year. Many companies not only encourage their employees to give to and volunteer time to nonprofits in their communities, but also will match those efforts with dollars and other means of support.
Volunteers provide more than an extra set of hands. They provide outside expertise, future employees, a community network and a pool of potential donors. Recruit and manage your volunteers basically like your employees.
Sometimes federal and state agencies and/or grantmaking foundations require nonprofits to provide audited financial statements. And sometimes nonprofits choose to undergo an audit to reassure supporters, board members, and other stakeholders that they are financially sound. For smaller nonprofits, a financial review is often enough to satisfy a funder.
The nonprofit annual report, although not a legal requirement, is often a valuable communications tool for nonprofits to get the message out about their activities over the course of the past year or years. It's also a great way to publicly recognize your donors.
Hiring a consultant is like hiring an employee. You need to match what you want with the skills and experience on offer, check references and figure out how much to pay. These suggested guides can help you find pro bono and in-kind consulting help, too.
Foundation grants account for only a small percentage of the overall funding picture in the nonprofit world. It is therefore essential for nonprofit organizations to investigate and incorporate a variety of potential revenue sources. This process is known as fundraising planning.
Disaster recovery plans are just one type of contingency planning. Regardless of where your nonprofit is located, preparing for emergencies -- be it weather, riots, or broken pipes -- can help your nonprofit protect important information and assets and recover more quickly.
Including an evaluation plan in your program shows that you take your objectives seriously and want to know how well you have achieved them. More and more foundations expect to see an evaluation component in the programs they fund.
The mission statement communicates the nonprofit's purpose, what groups it serves, and how it plans to do so. For a new nonprofit, developing the mission statement is a critical first step in defining what the organization plans to do and what makes it different from other organizations in the same field.
One of the most important responsibilities for nonprofit boards is selecting the organization's next executive director. The search and transition can be complex, and both generally require careful planning, well before a planned-or unplanned-departure occurs.
Successfully raising funds and donations from private institutions, government or individuals requires a certain amount of experience and skill, not the least of which is a firm understanding, and a consistent practice of, raising funds in a responsible ethical manner.
You might consider hiring an experienced attorney or accountant to fill out the forms or at least look them over before you submit them. If that's beyond your budget, a board member might be able to recommend an experienced professional, or you might find free or low-cost help at a local law school or student-run legal clinic.
Foundation Center offers free and fee-based training courses on fundraising and management. We have courses to fit your schedule: in-person classes, live or recorded webinars, and anytime self-paced eLearning courses.
Determining your nonprofit's technology needs and choosing from the vast array of available software can be overwhelming. Yet choosing carefully will help ensure that technology will maximize your nonprofit's impact and solve problems, not create them.
Sharing space (and other resources) can decrease an organization's overhead costs and improve efficiency. Sharing can also help organizations expand their reach if the collaboration occurs between groups with complementary mission objectives.