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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Waiting for Super Donor? What Your Board Needs to Know About Individual Donations
Karen Eber Davis

April, 2011

Every non profit organization hopes someone will make a significant donation that rescues them from their financial challenges. Do you wait for Super Donor to rescue you? Unfortunately, if you only wait and hope, the odds are that Super Donor is not coming. Nor is he sending a check.  Instead, this article shares what every board member needs to know and do to obtain individual donations.



1. Why do people give money to non profit organizations?

Key reasons include a sense of community or duty and the opportunity to pay back, change lives, and to help in time of need.  Most donors also say that they give because they were asked. 


2. What are some other examples of how individual donations helped nonprofits?

·      Tom and Dorothy Morris of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida left two million dollars to the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine in a bequest.

·      Eight-year-old Caelan McNamara raised $10,000 to help 97 children from around the world who were born with a cleft lip or palate receive corrective surgery.

·      An anonymous donor gave the Twin Cities Food Bank a check for $40,000.


3. Is this a common source of non profit income? Yes. Individual donations, depending on the reference, are the second or third largest source of all income. In terms of size they rank after mission earned income and sometimes after government funds. Individual donations represent 75 percent of all donated income and 20 percent of all non profit income.


Individual non profits vary in their receipt of these donations from none to many. Likewise, efforts to obtain them vary from passive to a complex system involving multiple staff members. For groups that receive large lump sums from other sources, i.e. the government, individual donations are challenging to start with. They begin with $10 and $20 gifts and initially cost more than they earn.


4. What forms do individual donations take?

There are many. Here are six forms: 

Nominal Gifts- These are donations you receive from anyone, even if they lack passion for your cause. On Saturday morning, members of the baseball league solicit funds outside the supermarket. While you lack baseball passion, the girls are cute. You give an individual donation of five dollars.

Read the rest of the article here...   


More Funding Resources


Karen Eber Davis Consulting specializes in increasing and uncovering funding streams for nonprofit organizations. The following articles and downloads will help to expand your thinking about your funding opportunities:


Can Your Organization Obtain More Income? The 7 Sources   


Want Money? Karen's Basic Toolkit for The New Year 


And these, audio downloads,  Money-tastic #2: Non Profit Income Opportunities  and Money-tastic #3: Creative Revenue Streams for Your Non Profit.


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