Sep 20, 2010

Seminar Recap: Fundraising for Startup Groups

Thanks to all the enthusiastic participants in last week's seminar at the Foundation Center in San Francisco, discussing where to start with one's fundraising efforts. My focus was on considering what assets your group already has to work with -- in other words, instead of starting out by saying, "We need to write a grant," look at what skills, knowledge, and connections your staff, volunteers, and other members have, then decide how to best match those up to likely fundraising methods.

The best part for me was hearing the audience share ideas and brainstorm. Social media was definitely big on people's minds -- one participant said her group currently does ALL of its fundraising via social media, and is now facing the challenge of expanding to other fundraising methods! It's the very opposite of the position some groups are in, wondering how and whether to move into the social media realm. (I wonder which crossover is easier to make?)

Another participant was concerned about the issue of how to start charging people for information that they'd always given away for free -- a sensitive issue, but not insurmountable. Sometimes, asking for donations to cover costs is the first way in which a group actually makes the public aware that it's a nonprofit!

You can also see what one of the Foundation Center's incredibly helpful librarians posted about the event, here.