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Charities need only ask for help

Columnist Carrie Coppernoll recently attended a workshop called “50 Asks in 50 Weeks” at the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, to learn more about raising money for charity. The key is deceptively simple: ask.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Staff Writer Published: December 22, 2010

The more she spoke, the more I realized that our organization doesn't ask directly for money very often, though we talk about our group to anyone who'll listen.

Eisenstein explained how nonprofits can broaden their funding horizons. Ask for money often, and ask for money correctly.

Here are a few of her tips:

Figure out what you're doing now. List all the ways the organization finds funding now, such as grant applications, individual requests, events and mail. Start with a clear picture of what's happening. “Know where you're at and increase it,” she said.

Have weekly development meetings. The agenda only has two items: what the funding request is this week and what it is next week. The meeting should be brief and involve key people in the organization.

Use the mail. Write personal notes and use real stamps. You won't make money the first couple years, but it will pay off in the long run.

Communicate. “Tell them what you did with their money and why it was important,” she said. Update supporters with what the organization has been up to, and, as always, ask for money.


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