Reflections on BLF14: Post #10 – Sustainability and Income Streams

Reflections on 2014 Board Leadership Forum, submitted by Carrie Minnich. This is the fifth of  several reviews by Carrie.

GOB Washington
The GOB in front of the Washington Monument. Carrie Minnich is standing far right

Open the Floodgates to Sustainability: Seven Income Streams, Endless Variations (Karen Eber Davis)

Nonprofits need money to survive. Some people hear “nonprofit” and think it means the organization does not make a profit; however, that is not true. Nonprofits need to raise funds to support their mission. Often times, the task of seeking out new funding sources falls on the board.

Here is a list of seven revenue options discussed during the session that your nonprofit may be able utilize:

1. Mission revenue – Fees charged for services.
2. Individuals – Individuals provide the largest source of donated income through contributions, fund raising events, telephone solicitation, special events, bequests, major gifts, online giving, lead trust, match, mail campaign, endowment, charitable lead trust, year end giving, sometimes memberships.
3. Governments – Nonprofits help governments to achieve their goals and in return governments (federal, state and local) provide funds to nonprofits.
4. Foundations – Foundation giving actually makes up less than what most people think.
5. Corporate – Contributions and sponsorships.
6. Unrelated income – Income that is not related to the organization’s exempt purpose.
7. In-kind – Non-cash goods and services or the use of facilities.

Your organization should utilize a mix of funding sources in order to sustain your organization. Relying on one source of revenue may have a detrimental effect on the organization.

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