Grant programs are particularly helpful when you are starting up. However, any revenue plan needs to include funding beyond grants. Most grants are limited to one to three years. Others may require information as to how you plan to raise money beyond the grant period. Listed below are three UU affiliated grant programs that have provided funds to the existing statewide networks:
You may also obtain funding from foundations that support the issues you are working on. Some websites and resources include:
Request memberships from churches in your state. Some networks suggest a donation of $1.00 per member or a fixed amount of $100 or more. Start with the churches where you have a relationship. You can write a letter, but this will also need to be followed up with calls and perhaps a visit. Ask ministers and lay leaders of your member congregations to reach out to one other church for a membership. Remember church boards change so these memberships need to be nurtured and fed. (See Communication and Engaging UUs)
Do not underestimate the power of small donors. The bulk of funding for non-profits comes from individuals. In addition to soliciting $15 to $35 individual memberships, actively solicit monthly donations. Long term, these will provide an on-going revenue source.
First and foremost, build your list of contacts. Get people excited about your network by asking them to complete an interest survey, visit your table at an upcoming district event, wear your pin, and take a bookmark/brochure. Ultimately you want them to give you their contact information so that you can grow this relationship.
House Parties – A House Party is a great way for UUs to connect and can be fun in addition to financially rewarding to the network. The parties have proven to be financially rewarding and an excellent source of monthly donations.
Individual donors lead to major donors. Sometimes, the best sources of major donors are those donors who are already contributing to your network or are volunteering their time and energy.
Outlined below are resources for setting up online donations and companies being used by the networks. You can also access the links here to navigate to donation pages on existing Networks’ sites.
Another site that can be helpful is Network For Good