How can I be successful in my fundraising efforts?

Successful fundraising is typically founded on the strength of relationships and the alignment of your program’s goals with a prospective funder’s goals. To be successful in your fundraising efforts, focus on both of these elements simultaneously. Try to make time to source and cultivate funds and be clear on your own needs while addressing the specific interests of potential funders. See links below for good proposal writing guides.

See Tipsheet "Ideas for Successful Fundraising":


Ideas for Successful Fundraising

  • Allocate enough time in your work plans to focus on funding demands (i.e. research funders, cultivate interest, write proposals, administer funds, evaluate outcomes, and report back).
  • Know the interests and priorities of your potential funders. Address these directly in any and all communications with them.
  • Make the link to your own interests and priorities clear and don’t get swayed off of these in your eagerness to attract dollars.
  • Don’t waste time applying to funders where there is not a good fit between your priorities and theirs.
  • Reach out and communicate early to discuss your program goals and project proposals with funders.
  • Whenever possible, avoid submitting a “cold” application for funds with no prior interaction or contact with the funder.
  • Invite potential funders to come and learn about your program in your community or out on the land. Make the work you are doing, and the people that are doing it, real to them.
  • Cultivate ongoing interest through phone and in-person meetings, updates, letters of interest, blog posts, etc.
  • Wherever possible, show matching funds, community contributions, partners lists, etc. Invite funders to be part of something bigger and more impactful than their contributions alone can support.
  • Ask for feedback when you haven’t been successful on a funding application.
  • Learn from every fundraising effort and strengthen your approach for the next ask.

Ideas for Successful Fundraising