Funding you receive from individuals in the form of gifts, memberships, services, or other types of support.

  • These are the people who already feel ownership of your organization. They are enormously important to your future success. It is easy to overlook these folks and focus on the major gift-givers, but these individuals are the cornerstone of your organization, and their small gifts can be some of your more reliable and consistent funding. They are you board members, docents and volunteers, patrons, people who take your classes or attend your workshops or lectures; they are the consumers of your services.
  • Maintaining the ownership of these people requires regular and reliable contact. You need to constantly try to assess why they care about your organization, what they get from you that they perceive as a value, and how you can expand those services. They need to feel included and important. They need to feel their $30 a year is important and appreciated.
  • Gifts of time or professional services can help you match other funders\’ dollars; these are called in-kind donations. Documenting these gifts is not very difficult or time consuming. In addition to enhanced matching capabilities, in-kind donations demonstrate to funders that people in your community value your organization:
    • Have volunteers sign in and out and track their time. Calculate those hours at minimum wage for in-kind contributions.
    • For services from professionals, have them provide you with a note on their letterhead stating what service they performed and the amount they would typically charge for that service. Board members providing you with their professional service can provide you a letter documenting their donation. However, you calculate a board members time while for volunteering for your board or committee by the minimum wage. For example: Your board member Sue, who is an accountant, can give you a letter showing that her work in preparing your financial paperwork took 10 hours at her going rate of $125 per hour. You then have an in-kind donation of $1,250. Her time in board meeting or volunteering to serve as an usher at one of your events is calculated at the minimum wage rate.
    • For discounted services, you can again get a note on letterhead stating that they would typically charge $2,000 for a day rental, but are giving you a discounted rate of $500. You can then calculate an in-kind donation of $1500 in space rental.