Annual Fundraising Plan

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Fundraising Assets

Asset Description
List of Current Funders List of all contributions from foundations, individuals, etc.
Fundraising Calendar Timeline of application deadlines.
Grant Proposal Modules Catalog of common grant questions and our boilerplate answers with adviser commentary and public review.
Fundraising Log - 2013 Log of 2013 fundraising activity including proposals submitted, correspondence with foundations, etc.

Contract Scenarios

Scenario 01

Grant Target

A minimal acceptable standard that an organization sets for its development officers should be three times what they are paid. Scenario 01 would have me commit to raising a baseline of $100,000 by December 31, 2013. I am confident we will exceed this, especially as we learn to work together, coordinate planning, and exceed the standards within the field of Philanthropy.

Scenario 02

Grant Target

A higher goal of raising $300,000 to $500,000 by December 31, 2013 is a realistic possibility.

Sources of Funding

Top Candidates

  • Nicholas Sparks Foundation
  • Shumaker Family Foundation
  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Feast On Good
  • Sandy and Christine Kemper
  • Howie Buffet
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • Surdna
  • Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  • USAID Program
  • Skoll Foundation (we're not ready, but we'll apply)
  • Robert and Toni Bader Charitable Foundation
  • Betsey and Jesse Fink Foundation
  • Ashoka (small)
  • Ford Foundation

Other Candidates

A big part of my job is research, and the methods I'll be using are outlined below. See The Foundation Directory Online below

Also, our research will be documented in our Fundraising Calendar

Strategies for 2013

Grants Campaign

Modular Grant Writing System

Grant applications and letter of inquiry templates use a small set of common questions. In response, most grant writers use a 'boilerplate', a versatile outline of answers to these common questions, as a starting point. We are essentially adopting this practice, but our Modular Grant Writing System allows for collaborative review and workshopping of the language through the use of Google Docs.

Development Advisers

We will develop a network of advisers who work in the field of nonprofit development and who support our mission to act as advisers guiding our grants campaign.

Build Long-Term Relationships With Current Foundation Partners

A nonprofit organization sets themselves apart when they are able to demonstrate what tangible benefits a foundation's investment made in the world. This is an tactic we can use to build long-term relationships with foundations and other supporters, so that we can move into multi-year pledges of support and long-term financial planning.

Government Grants

Government funding happens in stages, where small pilots that can prove their outcomes warrant larger investments in the future. This pool of funding grants us access to new networks of advisers and technical assistance. We will strive to receive our first government grant this year.

Microfunding Platform

In 2012, I worked as project manager for the development of the microfunding campaign, which should expand our monthly individual contributions significantly once its up and running at the end of January, 2013. Direct appeals like this are part of industry standards, and I expect to develop this as a steadily rising source of income for the organization in partnership with the manager of our social media outlets.


Comprehensively Research Grants Prospects

Foundation Directory Online

The Foundation Directory Online is an online database providing information about foundations and grant opportunities as well as about non-profit organizations and who their major funding sources are. The database is managed by the Foundation Center, and they have a library with a computer lab in San Francisco, where members of the public can use the Professional version of their database for tools. The Foundation Directory Online Professional Version contains the following information:

  • Detailed profiles of 108,000 grant makers
  • A searchable database of over 3 million grants
  • A searchable database of information on over 4,000 corporations and their giving programs
  • A searchable database of over 1 million 990's for nonprofit organizations

Using this database on their on-site library of development resources, I will build a comprehensive list of grant opportunities to strengthen our Fundraising Calendar.

Crowd Sourced Funding Research

We will make it easy for supporters, fans, and the general public to inform us about grant and other funding opportunities.

  • Blog post inviting the public to tell us about funding opportunities.
  • On the About/Contact Us page on the websites, make it easy for people to contact the Fundraising Team.
  • Periodically request information through OSEmail and through our social media channels.

Personal Networks

  • Identify leads through team meetings.
  • Meet with our current foundation partners to request meetings with other foundations or private individual contributors.
  • Ask the in-house team and people working closely with Open Source Ecology for ideas and leads to research.
  • Train the in-house team and advisers on how to easily make recommendations in the future (email addresses or online forms).

Recruit Advisers and Build Relationships

Identify Organizations With Similar Missions and Organizational Structures

I will research the funding sources of organizations with similar missions in order to identify opportunities for Open Source Ecology. I will also identify key staff within these operations and reach out to them in order to develop opportunities for information sharing and possible future partnerships with pilots and in other ways.

Identify Key Questions and Map the Development Process

I will track the things that I learn and the things that I need to learn more about in order to always improve how I do my work and achieve new levels of success. Tracking my questions will help me focus my time with mentors that I build relationships with.

Meet With Advisers and Catalog Their Knowledge

I will seek out leaders in the field of philanthropy and build relationships with them to further the mission of our organization.

Professional Networks

Fundraisers Anxiety Busters (FAB)


Fundraisers Anxiety Busters (FAB) is a forum for intermediate and seasoned fundraisers, and nonprofit staff and volunteers with development responsibilities (3 or more years experience), to share fundraising strategies and tactics, meet challenges, and solve problems. Co-sponsored by Development Executives Roundtable and the Foundation Center, FAB meets quarterly at the Foundation Center–San Francisco and is free to all. Guests with expertise in each session's topic will address issues identified by the group.

Tell a Compelling Story

Build On Emily Aiken's Positioning Work

I will use Emily Aiken's work on our Positioning to strengthen our fundraising work.

Solicit Public Review of Our Grant Proposals

The Modular Grant Writing System allows for the public to review our language for each area of common grant applications and letters of inquiry templates.

Other Resources

I will keep an eye out for networks that grant us access to computer donations and other office equipment.

Example - iReuse

iReuse is a new service in the Bay Area helping nonprofits, schools, and other organizations get the stuff they need. All you need to do is create your wish list on iReuse's web site by going to and get automatically matched up with local businesses and residents who are donating items which meet your needs.

Requirements for Success

Financial Operations


Most funders want to see a non profit organization's budget.

Accounting System

Most funders want to see audited financial statements.

Financial Statements

Most funders require financial statements to be submitted with grant applications.

Board of Directors

A nonprofit organization's board of directors provides credibility, access to funding, and access to personal networks of money and knowledge aside from fulfilling their roles in managing operations and lending expertise to the organization. It's important that we build a track record of following best practices while we build a robust board and then put it to work for us as things evolve.

Evaluations Data

As we start delivering programs to the public, whether through documentation/training materials, on-site trainings, or through pilots, it's crucial that we document our successes and evaluate our programs to not only strengthen them but to also weave a compelling story for our founders to hear and to rally their further support.

Team Cohesion

Everyone needs to understand how their parts interrelate, the goals of each department, and how working together promotes one another's successes. For example, the Development Team needs people working on pilot projects to understand the importance of providing evaluations data, or the accounting team needs to understand how grants are encumbered, etc.