4 Tips to Secure Non-Profit Funding

Seeking non profit funding is no easier than seeking funding for a private business venture. Even if you do not intend to earn a profit on an annual basis, your business must be financially sound to maintain performance, pay salaries and further the mission of your company. Try these tips to ensure your business has the funding needed to get off to the right start.

#1 Prepare an Adequate Business Plan

A business plan is needed for all ventures, even non profit companies. The business plan may be even more important for a non profit company, than for profit companies. It will be the tool shown not only to initial lenders but also to potential partners in the future. Securing ongoing partnerships will be a consistent source of financing. This is not possible if you do not have a document clearly conveying your company purpose, goals and organizational structure. Perhaps most importantly, your business plan needs to include financial information regarding your ability to continually meet your fiscal obligations.

#2 Research Grants

Grants are preferable to loans because they do not need to be repaid. All businesses, even for profit companies, are eligible for grants. Whether or not your company is eligible depends on the grants available to you. You can research grants in your area through the Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations. There are also organizations that help non profits further their success. It is important to realize some of these companies may be for profit businesses. You can locate grants through a number of government resources as well. Try speaking with your local office of the Small Business Administration to find applicable opportunities.

#3 Seek Government Loans

Government loans can be used in addition to grants in order to complete your needs for funding. Loans do require repayment, but government loans tend to be very inexpensive in terms of interest rates. The most popular non profit loans are distributed through the Small Business Administration. The SBA typically does not provide direct loans. However, the micro-loan program does distribute funds directly to those businesses who are creating sustainable benefits to a local economy. Many non profit organizations will qualify for direct loans through the micro loan program and other SBA community-driven initiatives. Even non profit companies, though, need to have good credit, a business plan and a solid application to qualify for government funding.

#4 Network with Donors

Donors will be the primary source of continued resources for a non profit company. Today, donor gifting is an industry to itself. You can hire an expert in gift researching who has previously had experience in seeking donors. These experts will show you the proper way to reach the network you are looking for. Often, a non profit company needs to engage in the same marketing principals as a for profit company. This means advertising, creating successful donation campaigns and making business connections through industry events. Networking with the right people takes the most time, but it typically proves to be the most lucrative source of finding donors.

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