Within the last couple weeks, there was an article about another nonprofit closing.

Reading the article, I saw an incredibly common fundraising myth perpetuated. The myth sounds goes something like this: if we only had more businesses and foundation grants, then our funding challenges would be over.

Check this quote out:

“You really need more corporate-type sponsors and more grants, and those are very difficult things to get when you know you’re running on a bare minimum to begin with,” Pellerin said.

Despite GivingUSA’s reporting year after year, apparently one of the best kept “secrets” of fundraising is that over 75% of the billions of dollars given each year is given by individuals. Individuals. People like you and me. Well…maybe with deeper pockets, but individuals nonetheless.

Doesn’t it almost seem this organization sees itself as a victim of stingy businesses? This type of entitlement is not the attitude you want to be publicizing in a small community like this nonprofit’s. I’ve been blogging against entitlement for years. It has no place in a successful fundraising program.

GivingUSA 2009

As you’re working on your year-end fundraising, take a look at GivingUSA‘s chart of last year’s giving and resist the urge to fish exclusively in the companies and foundations pond.

Corporations and foundations are sources of donations, but the biggest “donor pond” is individuals.

In addition to the standard end-of-the-year direct mail fundraising letters, check your database to see who hasn’t made your organization a gift in a while. Make a list of these individuals. Then try to find a couple projects that might be a good match.

Then make appointments and ask them for money!

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