Fundraising, Management Issues/Fundraising Help


I was recently elected as the head of Fundraising for my college's Honors Program for a full one-year term. As I'm sure you know and can guess, the Honors Program is for students who choose to excel, take pride in their education and develop excellence in their life and leadership skills. A large part of my action plan for the coming year involves securing donations, particularly product donations, for use in raffles and giveaways at events, etc. Also there will be efforts to secure product donations for use by the Honors Program, such as business software, web memberships, use of company resources and other things that would help our college's Honors Program and its students to have the best opportunity to succeed. What I am seeking is advice on how to approach both local and large businesses in a way that is likely to yield a willingness for them to partner with us and assist us with their products and resources.  Any expert guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your question, Wade.

1. Discuss with your predecessor, your supervisor, and your board members how things were done before you were elected and what they expect of you.

2. Check with colleges with similar programs for the latest ideas in this field.

3. Contact Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for a schedule of fundraising workshops. Budget for two workshops per year.

4. Develop a three-panel color leaflet with information on your program and the benefits of helping honors students; benefits to students and benefits to donors. Give the leaflet and a pre-addressed envelope with contribution levels to prospective donors; no need to add postage.

5. See businesses, alumni, friends and ask them to participate, giving them the leaflet and envelope.

6. Advertise in your alumni magazine and honors magazine.

7. Contact previous donors to your honors program, thank them for their gifts, and ask again.

8. Contact graduates of your honors program for their gifts.

All of the above takes a lot of planning time, calendar scheduling, telephone calls, and face-to-face visits. No guarantees of results, but this is the way it is done. Your best results always will be with seeing people and asking for the gift.

Best wishes for lots of success.  

Fundraising, Management Issues

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Wayne E. Groner


I can answer questions regarding annual funds, capital campaigns, endowment programs, asking for the major gift, volunteers, board development, nonprofit management, church fundraising, prospect research, prospect cultivation, and fundraising techniques.


Fundraising executive for 27 years, including nine years as a vice president. Presenter at national and regional workshops and conferences of Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council for Resource Development (CRD), and Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Workshop presenter to nonprofits and churches. Co-author of the book The Pastor's Guide to Fund-Raising Success. Writer of Sunday school lessons for adults and study resources for youth. Articles and book reviews on nonprofit fundraising-and-management issues published in national magazines and on the Web. Volunteer hospice chaplain. Board member and volunteer for community organizations.

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