Elevate your nonprofit: Fundraising

Posted on July 10, 2020

by Zachary H

The article is the third in a series of three covering library resources that can be used to elevate your nonprofit organization. To learn more about the resources mentioned, contact grant specialist Zach Huber.

Nothing is more challenging for nonprofits than continuously asking for money. Fundraising is essential to every nonprofit agency, but fundraising is also the most difficult and competitive part of operations. You’ll find some individuals that love it and are very successful fundraisers, while others would rather get a root canal than solicit money from strangers (or worse – people they know).

One of my favorite things to discuss with customers is how the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) can support them in their fundraising because many assume there is little help to be found. TLCPL’s databases can give your organization a helping hand at preparing for this competitive task.

Many would agree that mass mailings are not often a cost-effective way to fundraise BUT it does have its place in an overall strategy. For new organizations without an existing donor list or for organizations with broad areas of support, there is still merit in sending mass solicitations. The unfortunate piece is that obtaining mailing lists can be costly. Luckily, TLCPL’s subscription to the database ReferenceUSA allows you to pull your own list. For FREE.

In ReferenceUSA, you can take a set of criteria (location, income, lifestyle interests, etc.) and generate a list of names, addresses, and landline phone numbers. You can then download that list and use it in a mail merge saving your organization the hundreds if not thousands of dollars to purchase a mailing list. All you need to do is pay for printing and postage.

Additionally, new nonprofits can take advantage of TCLPL’s database, Small Business Builder as a basic way to track individual donations and to easily merge it into some of the financial projection tools in the database.

Beyond these tools, the Library hosts a number of other resources that can get you started with a fundraising plan. The Grantsmanship Collection and Small Business Reference center can connect you with print and digital books to help you develop your plan.

To get started, simply head to the Business & Workforce section of the TLCPL website to find all of the tools mentioned above or email Zach Huber for a one-on-one appointment to learn how to navigate these resources.

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