Launching an organization requires a compelling idea and a burning passion, but as importantly, the right funders, partners and advocates to help bring the vision to life – and keep it afloat. This session discusses the various stages of starting a new entity or re-energizing an existing one – engaging others to seed an idea, building a track record to attract supporters, diversifying the funding base, finding the right partners to help plan and execute sustainable growth, and the critical importance of communication and media outreach.
Five Good Ideas
- Learn to tell your story well: have a thirty-second pitch, a one-page backgrounder and a business plan at the ready to communicate your idea to potential supporters.
- View marketing and fundraising as indivisible activities: every set of eyes is a potential new supporter. Have the organization’s head of fundraising vet all communications and marketing materials.
- Tend to your relationships: the act of fundraising is really the art of relationship-building. Woo organizational partners to extend capacity; ruthlessly evaluate partnerships every year to renew or retire.
- Maximize the usefulness of your board and/or advisory councils and minimize the management time they require. They are in place to serve the CEO and the organization, not the other way around.
- Provide every member of your staff with Fundraising 101 training and involve them at some level in the fundraising process. Show how their work impacts on, and is impacted by, the organization’s ability to raise money and sustain itself.
- Imagine Canada – Canadian Directory to Foundations & Corporations as well as information on foundations and grant-writing.
- Ontario Business Program Guide – Ontario government’s free, online directory of tax incentives, tax credits and government support programs for business (including non-profits).
- Charity Village – Directories of funding agencies and foundations, plus online tools and resources.
- The Philanthropist – Free quarterly review for the non-profit sector.
- Philanthropic Foundations Canada – Technically a website for grant-makers, the resources on this website can also help grant seekers better understand the priorities and funding criteria of foundations.