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$ Resources: Cash, Stocks, In-Kind, Fees, Etc.

Fundraisers think in terms of revenue and return on investment (ROI). Will a $10,000 investment in this event raise $30,000? That’s our job.

We also have to think about the donor. How user-friendly is the website? Does it take more than three clicks to donate? Does a donor have multiple options to support your cause?

Here are some revenue sources and resources for you to consider implementing:

  • Bequests
  • Stocks and other securities
  • In-kind and wish lists
  • Vehicles
  • Alternatives to AmazonSmile
  • Recurring donations, i.e., monthly, quarterly
  • Program fees
  • Ticket sales

Bequests: Let your donors and others in your organization’s network know that your agency accepts bequests. Language as simple as “Remember ABC organization in your will” can be added to your website, your signature blocks, and as a postscript to all your appeals. Gifts from wills or estate plans is playing the long game. Most likely, you will not know about the gift until you receive it.

Stocks and other securities: Your organization will need a brokerage account to accept these gifts. Check with your bank about setting up this type of account. Your gift acceptance policy should have a statement about accepting and selling gifts of stock and other securities. You will also need clear procedures in place to designate who, within your organization, has the authority to accept such gifts, and the timeline for selling the securities. A good rule of thumb is to sell within 72 hours of receipt. You don’t want to play the stock market. Another option is to contract with DonateStock, or another third-party vendor who will handle the transaction.

In-kind and wish lists: In-kind donations can make a significant impact if they are budget-relieving donations. An in-kind donation of new computers may be a budget relieving donation. A donation of a pallet of expired Girl Scout cookies is not. Guidelines for acceptable in-kind gifts should also be included in your gift policy. Encouraging in-kind donations engages donors and volunteers and keeps them connected to your organization.

Create wish lists with more than one retailer, and most importantly, let your supporters know about your wish lists on your website, social media, newsletter, and any other communications you have with your donors and volunteers.

Vehicles: This is probably the least used fundraising tactic, but it’s effective in raising passive income. Most public television organizations across the country work with CARS, Charitable Adult Rides and Services, a nonprofit in San Diego, California. They serve other nonprofits across the country as a third-party vendor for vehicle donations. It’s worth checking out.

Alternatives to AmazonSmile: It’s been about a year since this program ended. Here are a couple of other retailer funding programs you may want to research.

Recurring donations: Many nonprofits use third-party platforms such as Qgiv, DonorBox, Stripe, or Paypal. There are many more on the market that will accept and process donations. Make sure the one you use offers the recurring gift option.

Program fees and ticket sales: These two options are unique to specific types of nonprofit organizations such as animal shelters charging an adoption fee, or theaters selling tickets to their productions.

Offering multiple giving options to your donors helps them think more creatively about their charitable giving.

DMGroupConsulting, is here to help you with your fundraising challenges and board governance training.Contact us at

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