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Establishing a Nonprofit Organization

Develop an overall fundraising plan

There are many different ways to maintain a viable, financially stable nonprofit organization. It is important to develop funding from a mix of individual and institutional sources, as well as earned income generated from special events, products, services and membership fees.

Individuals extend their support in a variety of ways: they make contributions and pledges in response to direct mail requests, phonathons, appeals on the Internet, door-to-door canvassing, and face-to-face solicitations. Institutions that provide both financial and in-kind support to nonprofits include foundations; businesses and corporations; local, state and federal governments; and religious institutions.

Today, diversification of support is vital, and no organization can hope to finance its work successfully from any one source. Even if it does succeed in obtaining that one large, elusive grant, there's no guarantee the grant will be renewed each year, and the organization's future will not be secure. Moreover, funders like to see that an organization's funding is diversified, for this shows broad-based agreement that its mission is important and worthy of support.

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