The Basics of Fundraising for Your Non Profit

October 14, 2020

In this episode of the NP Local podcast, hosts Jason Cass and Scott Niermann, MPA, CFRE, discuss the significance of funding in the nonprofit industry and share how Benjamin Franklin founded the fundraising school.

Key Quotes:

  • “The benefit of NP Local, we understand that your community is always local, and that is what we’re striving to do, is help you strengthen that community.” – Jason Cass (3:45)
  • “Funding is so important because it’s important that folks understand what a nonprofit is, and the fact that an organization has to have something left on December 31 in order to open their doors on January 1, so it is a business. It’s just a different business model.” – Scott Niermann (4:59)
  • “So these are things that are in the numbers, and you want to always know your numbers when you’re in the nonprofit world. But you need at least 30% of your support from the public.” – Scott Niermann (6:13)
  • “Well, long story short, you’ve got to follow your own bylaws and your own incorporating documents. So to become a nonprofit, you’re incorporating just like a business would incorporate in a different section of the IRS code.” – Scott Niermann (6:50)
  • “If you think about a bull’s eye, that’s what he’s talking about. You’ve got this core constituency, that is always going to support you. Okay, maybe it’s mom and dad, maybe it’s your board, maybe it’s folks who you know, are passionate about the mission as passionate as you are. And then you’ve got that next ring of the people that they know and then you’ve got the general public.” – Scott Niermann (8:53)
  • “In a fundraiser’s mind, everyone you meet is a fundraising prospect. That doesn’t mean you put them all in your database, that doesn’t mean you’re going to swap business cards every time, but you’ve always got to be thinking about that.” – Scott Niermann (9:18)
  • “I just think it’s important to realize that someone had to start it. It all had to start by asking, and so the problems in the anxiety you may be having today, are the same ones that everybody’s always had, as they’ve had to ask people for money.” – Jason Cass (14:10)
  • “This is something uniquely American, we are one of the most generous countries on the planet, and so that’s encouraging. But the reality is, there’s a lot of competition out there, you want to be good at your craft, something that I’m trying to be better at every day.” – Scott Niermann (15:27)
  • “Let me tell you, a government grant or even a foundation grant might have quite a lot of strings that your entity is not capable of managing. You better have some good accounting support, you better keep really good records of the services you’re providing, and be prepared to write that up a formal report, and a narrative, with all the OMB government forms to go with it.” – Scott Niermann (16:08)
  • “The amount of time you spend with the donors at the bottom is not the same as the individualized attention you give at the top, and the return on investment of any money spent to raise those dollars obviously goes up as you go up the pyramid.” – Scott Niermann (21:27)
  • “Hey, maintain your passion, fundraising is tough. It’s tough right now during the COVID era, but this is a generous country and so you believe in your mission, and you keep at it and show that impact on your community, and you’re going to do fine.” – Scott Niermann (22:05)

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