Fundraising By The Numbers (Part I)

1.     Fundraising is part of your organization.  It doesn’t stand alone but rather is one of the revenue streams that helps you to accomplish your mission. 2.     To do that, you need to understand what it costs to accomplish your mission—have a vision (not just a vision statement) of who you are and where you are heading.

3.     Put a price tag on both of those, noting what part is for operations and what is for programs.

4.     Take a look at your revenue streams (all of them).  How much do they bring in?  Are they restricted (for a specific purpose) or unrestricted (you can use as you see fit)?

5.     Subtract the appropriate revenue you are (pretty) sure will be coming in from the price you put on your operations and your programs.  The result is how much (more) you need to raise from charitable gifts and grants.  Note how much unrestricted is necessary.  Remember, you can use those unrestricted dollars for your programs; you cannot use restricted dollars to run your operations.

6.     Goal in hand, the next step is to figure out how you can best raise those funds given your resources.  And that will be the topic of next week’s blog.


Janet Levine works with nonprofit organizations, helping them to build their resource development capacity (and yes, that does include grants!).  To learn more about her, her grantwriting class and Get Ready, Get Set, Get Grants the only grantwriting book you really need, check out  You can buy the book directly at