The Three Ways to Raise Money If You're a Non-Profit

Non-profits have three main revenue streams that fund their operations. These are: mission-related earned income, state and federal government grants, and charitable contributions. If you are just starting out, don't worry. Test out all three and see what works best for you. 1. Mission-related earned income This refers to selling products related to your mission in order to earn income. A lot of organizations turn to selling shirts to earn income, while others sell products more directly tied into their mission. For example, a non-profit dedicated to raising money for local schools might sell school supplies. Raising funds through mission-related earned income allows you to be creative in the products and services that you sell. What's important here is to identify what potential and current members would find valuable. Again, like testing out the different ways to raise funds, you should test out different products, get feedback, and figure out pricing. 2. State and federal government grants Grants are the hardest form of gaining funds. Grant applications can be incredibly stressful, but can pay off. It is a strenuous and time-consuming process, and you may even have to hire a professional grant-writer to better your chances at receiving a grant. 3. Charitable contributions Charitable contributions are a method of fundraising, in which unlike mission-related earned income, you do not have to provide any goods in return. When people think of donating to a charity or to your cause, they are most likely giving a charitable contribution.