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Tap Into Your Network For Fundraising

The one thing I always tell people looking for fundraising advice is: look to your own network before you start looking beyond it. It is probably one of the most valuable lessons I learned as I built a fundraising strategy that netted me $50,000 every year - and with a skeleton crew at that!

What's a network, you ask? It's all of those people who you are in contact with on a regular or semi-regular basis. This can be friends, family, colleagues, business acquaintances, and even casual acquaintances, too - like friends of friends. If you draw lines to connect each of these people - you all of a sudden have a massive network that you can tap into for fundraising support. I think this is the first place you should start.

So, what are the reasons the people in your sphere of influence are the most important for fundraising? I can give you 4 great reasons why:

1.) They know people, too - That's the wonderful thing about networking. While fundraising is NEVER a pyramid scheme, that's how pyramid schemes can net people hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. They have simply tapped into that valuable source of funding - the network!

2.) They know you - Many of the people in the network have heard about your organization or what you are doing and some of the goals that you are fundraising for - through that valuable network of people. People talk to one another and the more your network is talking about what your organization is up to, the more interest is generated - and eventually the more money you are going to make when you fundraise.

3.) They support you - I always like to ask these questions: How willing are you to support a cause you know little or nothing about? Do you send a check to just any organization? Probably not. That's the one great (and extremely important) thing about your network. They are likely the ones that will be the first to jump forward to help your fundraising efforts - and often the ones writing the initial fundraising checks.

4.) They are your foundation - If you solidify the support within your network, the chance of people within that network are going to be powerhouse promoters of your fundraising cause. As they become more involved in your organization and its fundraising, they begin to tap into their own network (which is probably different from yours) - and you have a whole new group of people to tap into for fundraising support.

In my fundraising strategy, I tossed out the belief you need to go to the big businesses and beg for their generous support. I realized I was cutting out a valuable and profitable segment of my fundraising potential. It is often the BEST source of fundraising for small groups and organizations.

Look into your own network to find support before you begin to spend the time and resources it takes to capture outside interest. You might even find that once your network of support grows - eventually the net cast around that massive group of fundraising potential catches someone from a larger company or organization that is willing to lend its support.

Jayson Krause implemented and perfected a fund raising strategy that raised him nearly $50,000 a year for 6 years. Now he has put together everything he knows about the art of fund raising into an empowering new book at