Everything You Need to Know About that Fundraising Project…but were afraid to ask.

Over 20+ years of fundraising, I have been asked to write grant applications and funding proposals for operating grants, projects, corporate sponsorships, naming rights for buildings– sometimes as a ‘one off’ or as part of a capital campaign or a major gifts approach.

Are You a Tortoise Hare?

Are You A Tortoise or a Hare?

Unfortunately, I was often put in the position of having to prepare for donor meetings or write proposals in the absence of crucial information.  So, over the years,  as my confidence grew, I developed a questionnaire for those requesting the funding (here it is:Fundraising Project Checklist).

I admit that asking for this level of detail didn’t always make me popular, but, it shortened time spent completing grant applications and proposals or preparing for donor meetings – and more importantly, made me more successful in raising funds.

It also provided wonderful fundraising project summaries for board members, other fundraising volunteers and staff in a consistent and timely fashion.

Yes, it does require an injection of time and energy ‘up front’ and could be seen as a ‘tortoise vs. hare’ approach, but I have found it to be a very worthwhile investment.  And, having access to this information means a quick turnaround in delivering information to prospects who show interest during initial, exploratory discussions (so valuable from a donor relations perspective).

And, to help all fundraisers be successful by creating a supportive workplace environment, I’ve also created a companion piece: A Fundraiser Bill of Rights.


About Norma Cameron, CFRE

Norma Cameron is owner and principal of The Narrative Company, formed in 2006 to help people and organizations understand and apply the “power of story”. Prior to this, Norma had over 20 years’ experience in communications, fundraising, organizational development, performance storytelling, public speaking and training. As an engaging keynote speaker and seminar leader, she works with public, private and non-profit sector clients. As a seasoned storyteller, she has performed at conferences, concerts and festivals across Canada and the UK.
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