In Search of Funding: Where to Begin

Many college access/success programs start with seed funding from a few foundations or angel investors, but have the potential to raise significantly more money from individual donors and major gifts. In 2011-12, the TG Public Benefit Grant Fund provided NCAN with a grant to develop tools and guidance for our members. The intent of the grant was to help diversify members’ funding bases and better reach individual donors;  who are the source of 75 percent of all charitable dollars in the United States.  

As a result of the grant funding, Development Resources, Inc. was able to consult with several NCAN members over the course of one year. Based on its experience with NCAN, DRi recommends four actions that college access/success organizations can take to enhance their development work: 

1. Evaluate the diversity of your funding streams and implement a major gifts program; 
2. Create a comprehensive donor cultivation and stewardship plan; 
3. Increase board engagement with fundraising; and 
4. Implement a special event or evaluate how to make an existing event more profitable. 

DRi also developed a comprehensive toolkit of fundraising materials, which includes information on board development, special events, donor recognition and stewardship, major gifts, donor solicitation, and prospect research.

Access to these tools is a free, exclusive benefit of NCAN membership. NCAN members can log in to visit the Fundraising Tools page and download materials. The page also contains links to helpful fundraising webinars and conference session presentations. Please share this information with your development staff members.