Fundraising RulesFundraising 101 seminar told us lots of rules that weren’t obvious. Where do we to for help?

There are several sources of information for help for non-profits with their operations, events and fundraising efforts.

First of all, find someone who has done it before. This could be last year’s event chairperson, someone who worked for another non-profit, retired professionals, the list could go on and on. You start by asking people you know if they know someone with the fundraising experience that you’re seeking. And you ask for who else you should be asking. This is networking and it works.

Second, the trouble usually comes in obeying all the rules and regulations that you have to live and operation under when fundraising. So ask the people who are responsible for enforcing the rules. Check your local or state government web site. Call your city or county government and ask to speak to the person in charge of whatever part of fundraising you’re concerned with. Remember, it’s their job to help you because you pay their salary. Usually, they have explanatory materials that answer a lot of questions – you aren’t the first person to ask! Or they will explain if they don’t have the explanation written down. But do check back in a few days with the same questions, particularly for large offices, because you’re likely to get a different person and they may provide a different answer – if so, call back in another few days to get the answer again. And document what you are told for your records and because it will be a good defense in the future.

Lastly, or perhaps the first step, is to Google whatever question you have about fundraising events and read everything you can. This will identify potential sources of help and people to contact for further help with your fundraising efforts.