Fundraising » Fundraising Companies

How to Research Fundraising Companies

If you are a small nonprofit organization, fundraising companies can help you raise money and support for your agency. Fundraising companies are excellent additions to your fundraising campaign. Be sure to complete due diligence before hiring any company to raise money for you. At the end of the day, it is your reputation on the line.

Select three fundraising companies you are interested in hiring. Ask each company to submit a proposal to you for your fundraiser. Proposals should address the following:

  1. Amount of time required to coordinate fundraiser
  2. Ways the company plans to advertise fundraiser
  3. Resources required from your agency
  4. Cost for implementation
  5. List of previous and current clients

Request the names of five current references and permission to contact them. References older than three years are not useful. Ask each reference the same set of questions. Find out what they liked and did not like about the fundraisers. Specifically, compare the targeted goal amount with the actual amount of funds raised. This identifies the company's success rate for each of the referring agencies. Compare this to your anticipated success rate.

Determine the amount of every donation that goes to cover administrative costs. Your administrative costs are the expenses you incur to run the fundraiser. This includes the costs associated with the fundraising company. If more than 30 cents of every dollar raised goes to administrative costs, you will have a problem getting donors to support your fundraiser. Donors will ask for this information, so be willing to support your fundraising company selection.

Conduct an Internet search of the top two fundraising companies. If a client is unhappy with the companies, you are likely to find out through the Internet. Check the online Better Business Bureau to determine if any formal complaints are filed against the companies.

Finally, just ask around. Talk to other nonprofits. Find those who considered, but did not select the companies you are considering. Find out why the nonprofits selected another company. Examine the advantage the other company has over your prospective company.

Fundraising companies can be the best or worst thing supplement to your organization. Complete detailed research before hiring anyone to raise funds for you. You will not regret the time you spend on due diligence.

Not all fundraising companies are created equal. Visit Fundraiser Ideas to learn about online fundraising and which companies you should and shouldn't be dealing with.