Q. How do we raise unrestricted funds?

Growing donations imageA.  Raising unrestricted money is increasingly more difficult. Donors are ever more demanding as to accountability. They want to “follow the dollar.” Funders want to restrict money they grant to very specific uses. No one wants to pay to keep the lights on or heat the office – let alone pay the rent or, heaven forbid, your salary. There is never any money for overhead!

Well, as Ira Gershwin wrote about the Bible, “it ain’t necessarily so!”

Ken Burnett – in his classic work Relationship Fundraising – offers what he calls the essential foundations of fundraising, a clear path to the way to raise unrestricted funds. “Share your problems as well as your successes with your donors.” It does not matter at what level the donor is contributing nor the method of engagement, honesty and openness are prized more highly than artificial techniques designed to pander to a donor’s perceived interest. Be direct and build trust with your donors. Share your goals and encourage full involvement. Ultimately people will understand that the infrastructure must be in place. Otherwise, none of the great things that you and the donor dream about doing together will ever occur.