How to Focus on Sustainable Fundraising

What Is Sustainable Fundraising?

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When you are seeking funds for your nonprofit, it is important to remember to practice sustainable fundraising.

What Is Sustainable Fundraising?

Sustainable fundraising is a cost-effective strategy to consistently bring in money. The goal of sustainable fundraising is to provide a constant flow of donations.

For example, many people think they should spend a large amount of money on a big, extravagant event to bring in donations. While this may be an enjoyable way to network, it does not allow for a continuous stream of funding,

Instead, think of options that are more steady, such as crowdfunding. One of the best things you can do for your organization is to create a strategy that’s straightforward and ongoing.

An organization can quickly crumble if it makes the mistake of having funds come from one large donor or a specific grant. If one of these donors or sources dries up, the nonprofit can suffer a huge loss. This is the last position a nonprofit wants to be in and why it is so important for nonprofits to consider sustainable fundraising.

Organizations can take multiple approaches to sustainable fundraising. In particular, it helps to be diverse and creative. Some sustainable fundraising strategies to consider are listed below.

1. Grants

One method of sustainable funding is applying for grants. Many grants for nonprofits are available through government sources and private foundations. While specific grants may come and go, there will always be grants available if you look in the right places. Some grants are even good for multiple years, as long as your nonprofit still meets the criteria.

One way to efficiently find researched grants is to check out a grant listing website. Our parent company,, has a searchable online grant database that contains thousands of grants for nonprofit organizations.

2. Online Marketing

Another popular method of sustainable fundraising is using online fundraising methods. These can include the use of social media, email, or other online crowdfunding to solicit donations.

Not only is online marketing an inexpensive option, but it is convenient for nonprofits because it does not require much planning. Once you set up your online systems, all you will have to do is accept and process donations. Also, the internet is here to say, so you know you will have this constant resource available. You can also reach more people than you could in person.

At, we offer nonprofits a way to crowdfund online. The site is free for USA-based nonprofits with 501c3 status from the IRS.

3. Registering with Local Businesses

Many stores, particularly grocery stores, are willing to partner with nonprofits. This means they will give a percentage of their sales back to your organization. Looking into this option could be highly beneficial for your organization since it does not require much effort on your part but it gives you more than just a one-time source of funds.

4. Donation Memberships

These are programs in which people pay fees to become members. Some organizations lend themselves to this type of fundraising. For example, this could be an option for a nonprofit organization centered on a specific profession or a nonprofit athletic club. Having donation memberships would allow for constant funding as new people join your cause.

5. Endowments

Endowments are another method of sustainable fundraising. These gifts are typically a one-time funding source but can be sustainable if the funds are spread out over a specified time period. These donations are usually larger in size. It is important that this type of funding not be used all at once.

As you can see, there are multiple creative ways through which an organization can reach its sustainable fundraising goals. See how many of the strategies listed above your nonprofit can implement.