Answer: Diversifying your revenue sources is an critical step in ensuring your organization’s sustainability. It is important to explore a mix of:
- funders or funding sources, such as individuals/households, government, businesses/corporations, private and public foundations
- funding types, such as ongoing funding (annual giving, multi-year grants), episodic or one-time funding; a capital campaign (if applicable); and bequests/planned giving
- self-generated revenue sources, such as memberships, product sales and fees for service.
Don’t limit your efforts to advertised funding opportunities. A well-drafted letter of intent is a good way of exploring unsolicited funding. If you solicit businesses/corporations, stay close to home – businesses like to support their local community.
Finally, take the time to prepare a funding strategy; a three-year plan to guide your efforts in diversifying your funding sources. You can find a sample funding strategy on this website by going to Resources, then Free Downloads.