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Basic principles of fundraising

It doesn’t take a genius to raise money. The process is combination of common sense, hard work, preparations, courtesy, commitment, enthusiasm, understanding and a belief in what you are asking others to support.

 Principle 1 Organisations are not entitled to support, they must earn it

The primary key to fund-raising success is to have a first-class organisation in every sense. There are no entitlements in the nonprofit world.

Principle 2 Successful fundraising is not magic, it is simply hard work on the part of people who are thoroughly prepared.

Nonprofit fundraising is simple in design and concept, but it is very hard work, It is planning, executing and assessing.

Principle 3 Fund-raising is not raising money, it is raising friends

Only those people who know and like you will support you.  Raise friends and you will raise money.

Principle 4 You do not raise money by begging for it, you raise it by selling people on your organisation.

So, be ready, willing and able to sell your organization and the programs for which you are raising money.

Principle 5 People do not just reach for their checkbooks and give money to an organization. They have to be asked to give.

No matter how well you sell people on your organization, no matter how much money they have, no matter how capable they are of giving it, they have to be asked to give.

Principle 6 You don`t wait for the right moment to ask; you ask now.

You have to be ready, willing and able to close the solicitation at any time. You have to take the risk of hearing no.

Principle 7 Successful fundraisers do not ask for the money, they get others to ask for it.

Volunteers who are themselves business executives, well-off individuals, community leaders or board members are the ones who should ask their counterparts of donations.

Principles 8 You don`t decide today to raise money and then ask for it tomorrow, it takes time, patience and planning to raise money.

With each prospective donor the chances are you will get only one chance to present your case.

Principle 9 Prospects and donors are not cash crops waiting to be harvested, treat them as you would customers in a business.

They must be told how important they are, treated with courtesy and respect and if you expect to do business with them again, thanked.


Some examples of previous FCIA fundraising initiatives. Click on the pictures to view the larger image.