It’s the middle of December.
Tons of nonprofits are out there asking for money. I bet you’ve noticed.
Are you getting your share?
Do you know where to search for funding for your nonprofit?
And not just little bits, but amounts that put you over goal like my clients Lisa, Becky, and Sharon have experienced?

Many small nonprofits don’t know how to bring in enough money to support their efforts, and it leaves them in constant begging mode. They spend a lot of time trying different things, which ultimately yields little in the way of results. At the end of the day, they’re tired and frustrated and don’t know what to do.
That’s not what I want for you. I want you to KNOW which fundraising strategies will work for you and how to execute them.
Going after something that won’t bear fruit is what I call barking up the wrong tree.

Here are 5 ways that lots of small nonprofits go after the wrong funding sources:

1. They look for “rich people.” When you’re looking for rich people, that tells me you care more about the money than the donor, and that my friend, is BACKWARD! First, you’re assuming that just because someone has money, they’ll give it away.  Second, you’re assuming the donor will like your mission and give to you. That’s too many assumptions and it’s a waste of time. Instead of looking for rich people, look for people who LOVE your organization’s mission and want to see you be successful.
2. Nickel and dime fundraising. When you don’t have a clear strategy for fundraising and you haven’t studied best practices, you tend to do whatever you’ve seen someone else do. What we’ve all seen is events: bake sales, car washes, charity restaurant nights, T-shirt sales, and on it goes. The net for these activities is usually pretty low, and unfortunately, too many nonprofits rely on these for their main source of income. I call this nickel-and-dime fundraising because it brings in tiny little bits that don’t justify the time/energy/money spent on making it happen.
3. Going after grants before you’re ready. Grants can provide a wonderful source of revenue for your nonprofit, but if you go after them before you’re fully ready, it’s a waste of time. Many private foundations want to see at least 3 years of experience under your belt before they’ll consider your application. Others want detailed financial information or clearly-defined outcomes. If you try to apply for grants before you’ve got the history, the plan, and the details, you’ll likely get rejected. Get your ducks in a row first before you go after grants and you’ll have a greater chance of success.
4. Crowdfunding. Leveraging the power of relationships can be a brilliant strategy for fundraising, and the internet has made it easy to connect with people online. So, it seems like crowdfunding should be an easy, slam-dunk way to raise money, right? Not necessarily. A crowdfunding platform is a tool that you can use to raise money. It’s not a “build it and they will come” activity. Too many nonprofit folks think they can post something on a crowdfunding site then sit back to wait for the money to roll in. Doesn’t work that way. After you post your fundraiser, YOU have to publicize it and drive traffic to that page. YOU still have to work to get peoples’ attention and inspire them to give.
5. Social media. Similar to crowdfunding, social media is a tool and it’s a good one. Facebook particularly can connect you with thousands of donors and prospects who care about your cause. But just because someone “likes” your page doesn’t mean they’ll whip out their credit card and make a donation. Again, it’s your job to motivate people to give and show them where to click. I find that posting on social media alone can generate some donations, but using social media in conjunction with an email campaign or even an offline campaign increases results substantially.
So if these are the wrong trees to bark up, what are the right trees?
The right trees are the ones where your ideal donors and prospects are hanging out.
Study your best supporters. Where do they spend their time? Where do they spend their money? The answers will give you clues as to where to find more people just like them.
And that’s how you start finding the funding your young nonprofit so desperately needs.


Fundraising Truth #6 is part what I’m teaching in my new program called Project SmartSprout.
If you’re the Director of a really small nonprofit or just founded a new one, you need the lessons found in Project SmartSprout. They’ll help you learn to raise more money in less time, creating sustainability for the future.
I’ll show you how to

  • create a big, loyal donor base of people who love your mission
  • uncover the messaging you need to inspire people to give
  • ask for ANYTHING your nonprofit needs (without feeling yucky about it)
  • manage and lead your growing nonprofit

And you’ll LOVE the community of others who are walking the same path as you!
Right now, we have a special price on Charter Membership of just $77. Lock it in now and save yourself some money, but be quick – the introductory price goes away December 20. Join now at
We also a special bonus if you join by December 20. With your membership in Project SmartSprout, you’ll get instant access to our popular Fundraising Blueprint training to help you create a written fundraising plan.
So, come join us for all the fun in Project SmartSprout.
If you have questions about the program, email or call my office at 865-657-9915 so I can answer them for you.
I’m here to help you master the art of fundraising and be your biggest cheerleader!

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