Fund Development

As you build and grow your organization or project, finding sustainable funding will be critical to your success.  These resources have been created to give you all the tools, resources and guidance necessary to secure funding for your work. You’ll be able to use sample documents and templates along with instructional webinars and videos to build and develop a functional fund development program.  The following sections will take you through the initial planning and research stages; the nuts and bolts of seeking donations from foundation, corporate and individual sources; and finally give you the tools to administer and manage your fund development program.


The first and most critical piece towards building an effective fundraising program is creating a focused plan that will help you set priorities, goals, objectives and strategies to meet your fundraising goals. The plan will be your roadmap for your entire year and allow you and your team to operate strategically and effectively.

IntroductionWEBINAR (00:37:48) Introduction to Fundraising Planning

This webinar will give you an overview of the process of strategically thinking through the components of a fundraising plan.

Fund DevelopmentSAMPLE Fund Development Plan

This is a sample document you can use an example to build your own fund development plan from.

CalendarSAMPLE Fundraising Calendar

This document is a sample tool that keeps track of every specific fundraising deliverable for each month of the year. This includes all grant and grant report deadlines, fundraising events and donor communications.


Foundations and corporations give $67 billion in grants to nonprofits each year. This section will help guide you through the process of identifying foundation and corporate prospects that may be likely to fund your organization or project.

Grant researchGUIDE Grant Research Overview

This document will give you a focused overview on how to effectively research funding opportunities with a specific focus on appropriate resources and tools to do effective research.

WorksheetSAMPLE Foundation_Corporate Prospect_Worksheet

This document is a template worksheet to collect all relevant data on a prospective institutional funder like a foundation or corporation. It will guide you to collect all relevant data as you go through your research process.


The most basic rule for fundraising: “If you don’t ask you don’t get.” This section will walk you through the fundamentals of asking institutional donors like foundations and corporations for support through a formal grant submission process.

IntroductionWEBINAR (00:41:14) Proposal Writing Basics

For those new to proposal writing, this webinar will cover all the key components of submitting grant proposals to potential funders.

BoilerplateSAMPLE Boilerplate Grant Proposal

This is a sample “Boilerplate Grant Proposal”. The Boilerplate proposal is often used when a funder does not have specific application requirements and is also used as a template for all other applications.

LOISAMPLE Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

This document is a sample for a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). It is used when a funder will not accept unsolicited proposals and will only accept a LOI.


Most large businesses and corporations have structured giving programs where they make grants to nonprofit organizations based on specific giving criteria. Some corporations have a dedicated corporate foundation, while others will pull funds from their marketing budget. For corporate foundation requests, you can use the grant writing tools and resources in the section above. This section will cover some more general and specific aspects of creating an effective corporate giving program for your project.

Corporate GivingWEBINAR (00:50:15) Introduction to Corporate Giving

This webinar serves as an introduction to the world of corporate support for nonprofits and will answer questions about how to effectively build a sustainable revenue stream through corporate donations.

Corporate Giving ProgramSAMPLE Corporate Giving Program Overview

This document is a sample overview explaining in detail all the components of a successful corporate giving program for an organization. This includes both the research process and specific types of corporate giving and outreach.

Overview for CoporationsSAMPLE Organization Overview for Corporations

This document is a 2-page organization overview that can be sent out electronically as you are soliciting corporations. It is primarily a simple organization overview that also has specific information about corporate alliances.

Volunteer OutlineSAMPLE Outdoor Outreach Corporate Volunteer Outline

This is a sample document outlining the basic information and overview for creating a customized volunteer program for a specific corporation and its employees.


Developing and managing relationships with individual donors is a key component of any sustainable fundraising program. In this section we’ll give you the resources to build an effective individual donor program with solid tools to communicate with current and prospective donors with outreach tools like annual reports, year-end solicitations, newsletters and more.

Individual Giving ProgramSAMPLE Individual Giving Program Overview

This document is a sample overview outlining all the components for a fundraising program aimed at individual donors.

Individual DonorsSAMPLE Individual Donor Prospect worksheet

This document is a template worksheet to collect all relevant data on a prospective individual donor.

Annual ReportSAMPLE Annual Report

This is a sample annual report designed to communicate the work and impact of the organization and will be a key component of communicating and building relationships with donors.

Year EndSAMPLE Year-end-ask Solicitation Letter

This is a sample solicitation letter targeted towards individual donors at the end of the calendar year. While you may make several asks over the course of the year, most donors make their gifts at the end of the year, making this the most critical ask.

NewsletterSAMPLE Organization Newsletter

This is a sample newsletter used as a quarterly touch point to inform all stakeholders on upcoming events, recent organization highlights and accomplishments and to acknowledge recent supporters. This is one of the most critical outreach tools when communicating with donors.


Managing logistics and donor communications is one of the most challenging aspects of a fundraising program, and also one of the most important components integral to an organization’s success. To keep track of submission deadlines, reports and effectively managing donor relationships you’ll need to be highly organized. This section will give you the tools and resources you need to effectively manage your fundraising program.

Grant and ReportGUIDE Grant Submissions Flow Chart

This flow chart was created to clearly outline each step in the grant process. The flow chart will walk you through every step, beginning with the identification of a funding opportunity through the entire tracking process. You can use this document as a guide to help manage your grant program.

Grant LogTEMPLATE Grant Log

This document is an Excel spreadsheet template that you can use to keep track of your grants submissions.


Ask an expertVIDEO (00:03:00) Ask an Expert: Tips for Successful grant writing

In this short video fundraising expert Cheryl Clarke shares tips on how to avoid common mistakes in writing grant proposals.

Red FlagsVIDEO (00:01:24) Grant Writing Red Flags

In this short video grant makers share their insights and advice on proposals, relationships with nonprofits and more…


BudgetSAMPLE Organization Budget

This document is a sample for an Organization Budget. It is simple and clear and shows an organization budget with both income and expenses.

Project BudgetSAMPLE Project Budget

This is a sample project budget with typical expenses for a specific project.