Lesson 16

How is private sector fundraising similar to grant writing for government sources of revenue?

Archivists know how to write government grants, that is how you survive. Think about what you do when writing a grant. Is it similar to the process outlined below?

  1. You identify what department of what government you will apply to.
  2. Often you talk with the staff person and develop a relationship with them. You try to get to know the senior department civil servants and maybe even the politicians.
  3. You write a grant outlining what you wish to do and how much money you are asking them to provide.
  4. Sometimes before or after submitting the grant application you have to provide letters from interested parties. Sometimes someone from the government meets with you. Sometimes they want to know what you did with the last money they gave you and sometimes they even want to evaluate the project or program they are funding.
  5. A decision is made according to the department’s schedule and you thank them profusely and report later on what you are doing with their money.

Think about what you will do to raise money from the private sector

  1. You identify what people, businesses and foundations might have an interest in your work.
  2. You talk with people to see who knows who and if they will help you with their connections to prospective donors.
  3. You write a Case for Giving that outlines what you wish to do and how much money you will need and then calculate how many donors you will need to ask for what amount of money.
  4. Before making the “ask” you the board and archive volunteers should cultivate and build a relationship with the prospect. When the prospect is ready, the right person makes the right ask for the right amount.
  5. The prospect makes the decision and if it is no you say thank you, we’ll try again. If the answer is yes then you thank them profusely and report later on what you are doing with their money.

Assignment: Compare what you do for grant writing and what you will do for private sector fundraising. Do you see how similar it is?

Download Word Doc 14 : Examples of how to help donors see the impact of their gift

Activity All Gifts $1 to $25 $26 to 50 $51 to $76 $77-999 1000-5,000 6,000-10,000 11,000-25,000 50,000 250,000 $1m
Feature project in newsletter and make sure donor gets it    
Note from staff in area where funds were used  
Visit to area where money is at work                    
Letter from beneficiary          
Video from beneficiaries              
Private lunch in CEO office                    
List in slide show at events                      
Audit report if it’s a special fund                      

Gift Clubs are also good ways to recognize donors and make them feel involved. Please see the Glossary for one idea of how to set up gift clubs.