Fundraising resources keeps your program alive. With the right fundraising strategies, you will be able to hire and keep skilled staff, stock necessary program materials and supplies, plan events, and continuously improve the services you offer fathers. If you are unable to provide stable funding for your program you will want to start fundraising immediately. To help you get started we spoke with experienced program developers who gave us some of their best tips for successful fundraising. Keep reading to learn more!
Tips & Best Practices
- Do your homework! Google is your friend. Use the internet to search for potential sponsors. Make note of their priorities and procedures. This will help you write successful grants and discover new potential partners.
- Find out where employees of local companies volunteer their time. This information could indicate where a company makes its charitable donations.
- “Blind” or “cold” proposals are not usually successful. If you do not have a personal contact at a company or foundation, start with an inquiry letter.
- Make your successes known! Share impactful outcomes supported by program data and participant success stories on your website, in grant letters, and conversations with potential donors.
- Have a sound logic model. Logic models can serve as valuable tools for program management, allowing programs to assess milestones and respond to challenges when they occur.
- Pay attention to detail. When writing grants and proposals, follow all guidelines and requirements. If the guidelines state “no more than 5 pages, 12-point font, double spaced,” do not submit a longer document in a different format
Launched in 2009, Young Fathers of Santa Fe operates in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a mix of local funding and donations. With a staff of three, including a case manager bilingual in English and Spanish, the program supports young fathers and their partners during and after pregnancy. The program uses mentoring, education, and group activities to establish trust, runs weekly support groups at various community locations, and helps with education and job placement. They utilize Facebook as a means of direct engagement with participants and have found this can help identify areas of stress and provide opportunities to provide additional support. Young Fathers of Santa Fe connects with about 150 dads each year and works with other family members whenever possible. The organization supports the mother-father-child relationship; connects with fathers early in the pregnancy; encourages childbirth preparation, parenting, and relationship training; and facilitates employment, housing, education, and legal support.
What is a logic model?
In a nutshell, a logic model is a graphic that clearly and briefly summarizes the intended inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of your program. Most public and many private funders now require a logic model.
Who is my best bet for getting funding?
The most consistent donations are likely to come from foundation staff who believe in your program. Develop and nurture your personal contacts with regular communication and event attendance, or work with a fundraiser who already has those contacts.
There aren’t any fatherhood-related programs in my area. Who should I reach out to for funding?
Look for creative ways to access funds at the national, federal, state, and local levels. While a funder’s mission statement may not specifically include the word “fatherhood,” there may still be interest in supporting fathers as part of wider goals to help low-income residents, reduce unemployment, promote stable families, healthy relationships, parenting, or improve child well-being.