LETTER: Nonprofits can thrive using sound strategies

Jun. 07, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Community nonprofits are hurting financially, but it is not because funding isn't available. It is out there for the asking.

I have been working with nonprofits in the Sanford area on their fundraising challenges over the last few years. Here are my observations:

1. Many nonprofits perform their stated mission well, but are not businesslike in the management of their organizations.

2. They need to keep meticulous and transparent financial records. They need to forecast their financial needs (it's called a budget) so they have a realistic idea of how much money they need.

3. Using their budgets, they should prepare a three- to five-year fundraising strategy. There are three basic sources of funding: individual and business contributions, fundraising events and grants. A strong community fundraising strategy should tap all of these resources. The idea that grants can entirely fund an organization's financial needs is unrealistic.

Two examples of local nonprofits that have had excellent fundraising strategies over the last decade are the CCCC Foundation and Carolina Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA). Both support their organizations essentially from their own communities, using dedicated volunteers, hard work and good planning.

Irene Smith