Fundraiser vs. Funding Development. What's the difference?

Money makes the world go round. Cliche, yes, but money is one of the most valuable resources your nonprofit will need to create sustainability. Before your organization hosts another bake sale, let's think long term.

Without the financial assistance of donors, most nonprofit organizations could not survive on program revenue alone. Across the board, nonprofit organizations employ various methods to generate money, via fundraisers or the implementation of a fund development plan. We often hear “fund development” and “fundraising” used mutually, but the concepts are different. The following list provides different perspectives on these two concepts; and, why your organization should develop a fund development plan to maximize its success.

Activity vs. Strategy

Fundraising is an activity an organization engages in to secure funding. Examples of fundraising are, donations, selling a product, or hosting an event. Nonprofit organizations employ fundraising to meet an immediate goal. However, a fund development plan requires long-term thinking and employs fundraising activities to build organizational capacity and sustainability. In short, a fund development plan employs actions with a specific intention or purpose supporting a long-term goal.

One-time vs. Relationship

Most fundraising activities allow nonprofits to engage with a potential donor once, but funding development success hinges on relationship building. For example, your organization may engage in a series of fundraising activities generating funds; yet, the funding is short-term. An individual donates $5.00, with no follow-up or additional contact from the organization. A fund development plan would employ this same activity by adding one additional detail, a contact list. During the donation, the organization secures the contact information from donors and sends a thank you email for their support. A thank you card opens the door to a new relationship with a donor aligned with the organization mission and values. With a fund development plan, a one-time donation develops into a recurring donation.

Part vs. Whole

Lastly, consider fundraising as part of a larger whole. A solid funding development plan employs fundraisers, as well as, a series of funding development strategies such as grants, major gifts, memberships, and annual appeals. A solid fund development plan is the foundation for an organization, and the fundraisers are the windows. Fundraisers provide a brief view of the organization’s goals, but the fund development plan lends insight into the organization’s stability.

As a whole, society understands the importance of financially supporting nonprofit organizations with corporations, estates, and foundations donating over $78 billion dollars a year to nonprofits (Source, Giving USA Foundation). However, nonprofit organizations receive over $250 billion dollars a year from individual donations. Organizations with a fund development plan are maximizing organizational capacity by building relationships with donors and thinking long-term.

To ensure your organization is capitalizing its funding potential, contact the Harris Agency today.

-Dr. Harris


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square