5 tips for finding the right funders

Writing a fundraising pitch that spurs readers to donate money is an important part of the fundraising process. Focusing too keenly on the right word can draw attention away from the best places to make the pitch.

During the recent Grants Professionals Association (GPA) annual conference, Lori Booth, global grants manager of the Surfrider Foundation, offered 10 tips on finding the right funders before writing a word.

Booth said the tips come under five main areas of consideration: What to Look For, Where to Look (First), Where to Look (Next), How to Look and Putting it All Together.

What to Look For: Ask a specific question. For example, What is my top funding priority? Know thyself. This includes programs, audiences, people, impacts and budgets.

Where to Look (First): Mine internal data. Think of current funders, existing relationships and past funders.

Where to Look (Next) Check out “competitors.” Use GPA membership benefits. Surf and/or sign up.

How to Look: Recent information is better. Look for scale. Ask informed questions.

Putting it All Together: Don’t be afraid to be skeptical.

Finally, once the steps have been taken, Booth suggested double-checking eligibility, following instructions and attending one of GPA’s workshops on proposal writing.