Mesha Tomlinson of ABC’s of Financing specializes in navigating the labyrinth facing nonprofit organizations in fundraising.
A nonprofit must transition into the ecosystem by building a firm infrastructure with the goal of improving the mission while avoiding the difficulties that plague so many start-ups.
To do good in this world as a nonprofit you must get your mission to your audience.
To reach your audience you have many tools at your disposal; crowd funding platforms, sliding scale donations, galas, walkathons and many public relations related activities.
Mesha tells us, “Having a firm business plan, just as any for-profit company, is essential to the success of any nonprofit start-up.”
Major misconception about a nonprofit is that they don’t make money or need money, it’s all for free. Many non-profits have high ambitions and only focus on their mission forgetting about the fact that they cannot operate without money to fulfill that mission. The truth is they must run just like any other business.
The nonprofit must know how much revenue they want to earn. A complete understanding of the various vehicles that can be used, such as how many volunteers are willing to help, and how relatable are each one of those people to your audience.
When looking for a knowledgeable fundraiser to assist in fulfilling your mission you must find someone that is experienced, is readily accessible and who has a caring attitude for you and your mission. The difficult job of finding that firm or person can be accomplished by requesting their portfolio of past performance which will outline their experience.
Determining if they will give you the time necessary can best be foretold in the interview with the person or firm. If the nonprofit has no experience in fundraising, that organization will require more time than a foundation that has experience in fundraising. The experienced nonprofit has already established a fundraising feasibility study and understand the fundamental elements of fundraising and program evaluation. Those programs are already set up. The novice nonprofit must stress their lack of experience so the fundraiser understands the need for extra time.
The relationship a nonprofit makes with the fundraiser is a long term relationship.
Some common questions asked by first time nonprofits when entering a fundraising project are; how many volunteers will I need to complete my mission? What is the best vehicle for me to use to accomplish my mission? Do I need a feasibility study?
The answers to these questions will be based on where the nonprofit will be asking for money. A good place to start is with Foundations. They are the ones that carry grants. Foundations are local in San Diego but can also be found at the state and national level. When applying for a grant you must follow the Foundations guidelines. They want to hear your story and also see the statistics as to why your mission is needed.
More information can be found about Mesha Tomlinson by visiting http://www.financial.sandiegoprofessionaljournal.com/mesha-tomlinson/