Update #3 (07/03/2013: The deadline for submitting a Letter of Interest has passed and I’ve started reviewing. I expect to get through this stage by the end of the week and make a decision that I’ll announce next week. Thanks to everyone who took the time to send a letter. I’m very grateful for your interest in not only my help but in your cause. Congrats.
Update #2 (07/01/2013): You have until the end of the day tomorrow to send a Letter of Interest and enter the contest for 10 hours of free fundraising consultation. Do you have a project that needs a grant proposal? Do you need to put together a funding plan for a new play or documentary? Need help getting your board to accept their fundraising duties? I can help with all of these and more. Questions? Post a comment and I’ll get back to you.
Update #1 (06/21/2013): You have about 10 days to send a Letter of Interest to enter my contest for 10 free hours of consulting. There’s been an awesome response from nonprofits and projects across the country in many different fields. I’m really looking forward to talking to each one (if you enter you get a 30 minute consult at no charge) and hope you are one of them. Details on how to enter are below. Enjoy Midsummer!
Over the years I’ve found that existing nonprofits, fiscally sponsored projects, and nonprofit startups often struggle with raising charitable donations. Not only do you have limited time and money to devote to fundraising, but it can seem like a daunting and complicated task.
I don’t think it has to be that way. Not that fundraising is necessarily easy, but there are some basic and inexpensive things you can do to raise more money and get other people to help you. If you’re like other causes, raising more charitable donations would be a good thing.
But I know what you’re thinking, because I’ve thought the same thing: “we can’t afford a fundraising consultant”. And I completely understand why you think that. When you have limited resources it can be difficult to commit to spending money with no guaranteed results.
So here’s my offer: I’m giving away 10 hours of my consulting time to one worthy organization or project. Starting May 31st, I’m going to accept Letters of Interest in which you tell me what you’d do with 10 hours of fundraising consultation. Everyone who submits a letter will get a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation and I will give you my best advice on how to raise more money. Details on how to submit a letter in a minute.
How might you use 10 hours of free consultation? I could help you:
- Edit fundraising letters
- Evaluate results from previous letters and events and plan improvements
- Build a fundraising plan for your new arts project (film, doc, play, exhibit, etc.)
- Research grant opportunities
- Write a grant proposal
- Give you tips on how to build a potential donor list and start making calls
- Help plan a fundraising event or donor cultivation activity
- Help you create a plan to build community support
- Develop ideas for getting in-kind donations
- Adapt existing newsletters to enhance fundraising
- Conduct training for board volunteers and staff
- Produce a short video geared toward membership or fundraising (Indiegogo maybe?)
- Train and mentor staff responsible for fundraising
- Facilitate a board and/or staff retreat to create an annual fundraising plan
- Study and evaluate your current fundraising tactics
- Or any number of other things.
Because I’ve had a variety of roles in the nonprofit sector (I’m not just a fundraising consultant) I have a unique understanding of the daily challenges of life in small nonprofits and how difficult it can be for projects that are just starting up. A few boards I’ve served on include: the K-State Theatre Advisory Council, Manhattan AFS Chapter, Habitat for Humanity, and the Manhattan Arts Center. I’m also managing a startup called The Arctic Cycle, a series of plays set in countries affected by climate change. I’ve also been an executive director at the Flint Hills American Red Cross Chapter, the Meadowlark Hills Foundation, and The Village Disaster Resource Project. I know firsthand the struggles and challenges of smaller nonprofits. It’s this experience that informs and guides my consulting work.
Here are the Free Consultation entry guidelines.
- Single page (8.5 X 11) Letter of Interest.
- Only one submission per organization allowed.
- Must be a qualified 501c3 or fiscally sponsored by another organization like Fractured Atlas.
- Please address these areas in your letter:
- Describe your organization and/or project.
- Briefly outline (3-4 sentences) your current fundraising efforts and activities.
- Explain how you would benefit from raising more money.
- Please include the appropriate contact information (email, address, phone number).
- Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on July 1, 2013 (email or hard copies accepted).
•As a bonus, the first 10 organizations to submit a LOI will also receive a complimentary copy of my soon to be published e-book: The Amazingly Simple Fundraising Plan. It’s geared toward small nonprofits and projects and is already getting rave reviews.
Submit electronic file to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to send a hard copy, send an email requesting a mailing address.
I look forward to hearing from you. Good luck!