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September 13, 2011

Getting Started with Funding

by ebmeier

Funding needs can be very small to very big.

For very small projects, the simplest approach might be to reach into your own pockets or those of a few friends.  The time it takes to raise money elsewhere is significant.  Pay attention to your time to help assess whether  various fundraising activities are worth the trouble.

When more cash is needed, consider using a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor like us to receive tax-deductible donations and foundation grants to fund your project.  This method is particularly useful when you have donors identified but your organization is not a 501(c)(3).

Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund is the gateway to City-of-Seattle-funded volunteer projects, offering several levels of funding for community projects. Many Seattle neighborhood projects start their funding here.  This matching fund, with its matching and reporting requirements, is respected around the world for the way it engages community and leads to finished projects. It is also respected by other funding agencies, so it is a good place to start when you are trying to put together an array of funding sources.

There are many sources of money

Individuals, businesses, foundations, labor unions, churches, guilds, government budgets, all can provide funding. It all depends on what you are trying to do. Look at our list of useful links and resources, call us, get funding lists from other projects and come back here to see what we’ve added.

Don’t over look pro bono or in-kind donations!

This is work that someone or some business is willing to do for free or goods that someone is willing to donate. A printer might print your poster for free; a local contractor may donate some backhoe time; a nursery may donate plants. Think about who might like to support a project like yours and ask. Fundraising seminars always make one thing clear: All those who give, were asked.

Get in touch and we’ll discuss your project.

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