You Have the Tools to Raise More Money!


You Have the Tools

By sharing your story, making the most of your resources, practicing gratefulness, and engaging volunteers – you will raise more funds for your nonprofit organization.

Share Your Story

Why should anyone give to your organization? An authentic story goes a long way towards helping people understand the power of your work. That life you changed yesterday could make a great reason for someone to give to support your work today.   

One great ReFrame Association member organization, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, shares their mission by telling “Success Stories” like this one:


After experiencing a series of serious health setbacks - including cancer - Cameron and Robin realized the home maintenance and repairs they could once afford were out of reach. When their heat went out in the fall, we leveraged Duke Energy's Helping Home Fund to replace their HVAC units. Now the couple, their three children and elderly father can live in the home and recover comfortably. -Jul 29, 2017 

Don’t underestimate the power of stories to illuminate and convey the great work you are doing.  If you don’t share your personal stories of impact, no one will know WHY they should support you. If you share success stories succinctly, you can emotionally engage people in helping you do one thing you need to do to be successful…raise more money!

Be Grateful and Active in Your Fundraising Efforts

Today, this might mean calling a donor to say “Thank you!” or it might mean updating a list of donor mailing addresses.  Whatever the task, make sure that it is one that is promising for today and tomorrow in terms of making an impact.

Activate Volunteers

Most people don’t know this - but according to The Corporation for National and Community Service, about 63 million Americans over the age of 16 volunteer for a nonprofit organization.  And this work is valued at more than $184 BILLION!  While these figures are impressive, there is actually even more to these numbers than first meets the eye.

That's beacause one of the largest volunteer activities in the US – even ahead of helping others fix up their houses – is fundraising!  More than 16 MILLION Americans help raise money for their favorite charities…why not YOURS?!  (Probably because you have not asked them!)

By starting with people who LOVE you and the work you do, you can identify and engage people who want to help you do more good work in your community…and get them to help you raise more needed funds to do the work.  Remember – all of this work is about expanding your mission – which helps you help more people.

Make the Most of Your Resources – Including Staff

All too often, staff at a small nonprofit means – well, probably YOU!  If you are a small staffed nonprofit organization, then how you use your very valuable staffing time is even more critical to good fundraising.  

Use staffs time to make the highest return on investment work happen – in the moment and over time.  

There is an old saying in fundraising - attributed to Millard Fuller of Habitat for Humanity:  “We have tried asking.  We have tried not asking.  Asking just works better!”

Have you given your nonprofit the opportunity to do even more good work by focusing on fundraising?

Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Your goal should always be to do the best you can with what you have…and this means taking stock of not only your power tools and building supplies…but also your staff, volunteers, and budgetary resources for fundraising. 

By sharing your story, making the most of your resources, practicing gratefulness, and engaging volunteers – you will raise more funds for your nonprofit organization!

Erik Daubert serves as Faculty at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, LaGrange College, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in their various philanthropy programs, in addition to serving as an Affiliated Scholar with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.  He also works as the Director of Financial Development Education at the YMCA of the USA. Erik may be reached via email at