Sources for Nonprofit fundraising

The most basic sources of nonprofit fundraising are:
Individual donors: As per a report published by Giving USA, funds from individual donors constitute around 3/4th of the total charitable donations in the United States.
Corporate giving: Corporate funds can be raised in two forms:

a) Event sponsorship – which is more of an episodic funding.
b) Cause marketing – which can be a long term engagement.

Corporate funding is now identified as major sources of funding as corporate increasingly understand the importance of community service as an implicit tool to attract respect, publicity and customer loyalty.
Federal grants: Government (at local, state and federal levels) offers grants to a large number of nonprofit organizations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a vast listing of Government grants at

A large database of federal grant information is also available at: The Federal Commons
State grants: The ‘Economic development authority’ of each state maintains a directory of available state grants.
Fiscal sponsors: An ideal tool for new start up nonprofit organizations, where by another non profit organization agrees to sponsor the programs of a new organization.   Refer to previous discussion on Fiscal sponsorship for more details.
Foundations: There are many kinds of foundations that can be approached for raising
funds –

Private Foundations – They are further classified into two –

  • Corporate Foundations – Foundations that receive endowments from corporate entities.
  • Family Foundations – Foundations that receive endowments from families.e.g.: Rockfeller foundation, Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation etc.

Community Foundations – Community Foundations are foundations that pool the donations of several donors who don’t want to set up their own private foundations. Community foundations  are one of the most widely used sources for receiving donor-advised funds for nonprofit organizations.

Building strong long-term relationships is key to raising money from foundations and is thus essentially a long term fund raising option.
Federated Funds: Federated funds are cooperative structures set up, owned and managed by its constituent member non-profit organizations. These enterprises raise funds and distribute it amongst its constituent member organizations.  This form of fund raising is generally used by well established larger non profit organizations with deep sector linkage.  United Ways is one of the better known federated funds in the country.