Fundraising for Advocates Resources

The Alliance For Biking and Walking's Guide To Fundraising summarizes the elements of creating a fundraising plan and various fundraising strategies and tips for a successful plan. Fundraising plans are extremely variable and should be adapted to each organization’s mission, budget, financial goals, and fundraising opportunities.

Part One: Creating And Implementing An Effective Fundraising Plan

A solid fundraising plan is the first step to identifying your organization’s goals, tactics, and timelines, and it will help you meet, and even exceed your financial targets.

Because there are a number of ways to raise money, your fundraising plan is an opportunity to flesh out which options are best for your specific organization. It keeps you focused on the most effective means of drawing in dollars. “Having a plan means that when somebody else on your board thinks they’ve come up with a fabulous fundraising idea, you can say, ‘You know, we would love to do it, but it’s not in our plan. Maybe we can work it into next year,’” says Gail Perry, founder of Fired-Up Fundraising. “It protects you from all those well-meaning but wild-eyed ideas.”

Part Two: Anatomy Of A Winning Proposal

As small a piece of the fundraising pie that foundations represent, grants can give an organization a short-term capacity boost or fund innovative programs it might not otherwise be able to offer.

Also, grant proposal writing is one of the most valuable skills a non-profit employee or volunteer can develop. It gives organizers the opportunity to think through and succinctly communicate how their mission and activities are aligned with the terms of the grant and how they will strategically use funds to meet their goals.

Part Three: Finding Local Funding Sources

The first place you should look when fundraising for your organization is your own community. How can you turn your members and supporters into major donors? How can you incorporate planned gifts into your organization’s fundraising plan and protect yourself from potentially harmful gifts? How can you use events and rides as sustainable sources of income? How can you tap into community foundations and get government and business support through sponsorships?

Part Four: Government Consulting And Contracts

Both parties can win when a government agency successfully contracts with a biking and walking advocacy organization. For the organization, working with a public agency on contract work can boost budgets, further the core mission, increase the organization’s credibility and improve a group’s chances of winning or subcontracting grants down the line.

As the public sector cuts back on providing direct services, local governments benefit when nonprofits step up to perform important work faster and more efficiently. Governments further benefit when state and local advocacy organizations can apply their specialized expertise in active transportation to public needs.

Part Five: Online Fundraising

The Alliance For Biking and Walking's Guide To Fundraising Series specifically covers the core elements of successful online fundraising, including website collateral, emails that drive people to donate and keep them engaged between appeals, and a social media presence to engage supporters. Also covered are additional tools that can be used to raise funds for your organization online.