One of the most often sought after pieces of information The Center is asked for is, “How Can We Make More Money to Support Our Mission?” That is a critical question to nonprofit capacity and one that has, thankfully, multiple good answers. This section is dedicated to best practices in fundraising with advice from some of the most successful fundraisers in the business.   We wish to thank all of the C4NPR workshop presenters, consultants and experts who have given their permission to post or link to their materials. 

Elements of a Fundraising Plan

We are beginning with an outline below for a fundraising plan. The resources on this page will define strategies that can contribute to the capacity and sustainability of your organization. When sitting down with your staff and board to discuss fundraising, please consider the following:

  • Strategies
  • Goals for each strategy
  • Audience & prospects
  • Tasks
  • Timeline
  • Who’s responsible for what?

Great Advice from Seth Godin with Amy Eisenstein

Strategies, Audiences and Advice to Get You Started

Fundraising Plans – The first step in fundraising is creating a strategic plan. The board, the executive director and key fundraising staff should be part of its development as all of these people will have a role in the ultimate financial success of your efforts. See Stephanie Roth, Mimi Ho and Priscilla Hung’s Fundraising Planning Worksheet from

Fundraising Compliance – States oversee fundraising in order to protect consumers. Charities must register with the state before soliciting donations. Registration is the first step to ongoing compliance with state charitable solicitation laws. In subsequent years, fundraising registration renewal is an important compliance activity just like filing your IRS Form 990 and state annual reports. Click here for a Guide to Ohio Fundraising from Harbor Compliance. Click here for a Guide to Michigan Fundraising from Harbor Compliance.

No-Cost Workshop Replays

Fundraising Among Your Volunteers – The Chronicle of Philanthropy provides some help and perspective into this sometimes difficult subject. Turning Volunteers into Donors.

Major Gift Acquisition –
 If you are wondering where to start with regard to Major Gifts, consider Six Simple Steps to Major Gifts for Small Shops featured on by Amy Eisenstein.

Campaigns – offers Building a Successful Capital Campaign as an overview of essentials when launching your first or next Capital Campaign effort.

Email Marketing Campaigns – Two economical resources for sending email marketing are MailChimp and Constant Contact. Below are three of our favorite resources for online and email marketing and fundraising.

  • Tom Ahern | Browse his site and blog and subscribe to his newsletter. Anything by Tom is worth a read and will be helpful!
  • Joan Garry | A search on her blog for Fundraising and Email provides us with insights on making annual plans to keeping lists fresh.

Online Giving


 Networking and Associations That Can Help You

  • Association of Fundraising Professionals – This professional association for individuals is responsible for generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of not-for-profit, charitable organizations.
  • Rural Health Information Hub–  Offers information, opportunities, and resources on rural health. National page with contact information for local, tailored assistance.

Databases for Fundraising Professionals

  • Guidestar – Is a searchable database of nonprofit organizations and their 990 forms. Search 990s to see what contributions that grantmaking foundations have made to area nonprofit organizations.
  • Foundation Directory Online – The Foundation Directory is updated daily. It provides access to 140,000+ funder profiles, 4 million recent grants and more than 1 million recipient records. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library provides free access to this resource at Main Library. Contact Zachary Huber to make an appointment and bring a flash drive to save your searches.
  • Grant Select – You will find this database at You will need your library card and pin number to gain access. Grant Select is a searchable listing of over 13,000 private and government funding opportunities for nonprofits, research and scholarship. Provided through a grant from The Center for Nonprofit Resources.

Additional Resources

Helpful Magazines, Blogs and E-newsletters

  • Future Fundraising Now – Jeff Brooks has moved the popular ‘Donor Power’ blog to this new site. Jeff constantly produces thought-provoking and educational posts on all aspects of fundraising.  A constant source of insight.

Great Books Available at Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, through and at local bookstores:

  • Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times by Kim Klein
  • Fundraising for Social Change by Kim Klein
  • Working Across Generations by Robby Rodriquez, Frances Kunreuther and Helen Kim
  • Accidental Fundraiser by Stephanie Roth and Mimi Ho
  • Beyond Fundraising:  New Strategies for Innovation and Investment in Nonprofits by Kay Sprinkel Grace. John P. Wiley & Sons, New York. 1997. Second edition, March, 2005.