I put together some questions to help the organization and me better understand why the funding sources were disappearing and what steps could be taken to remedy the situation. This list is a summary of what I asked on the spot:
- What has been your sources of funding and do you know some of the reasons for the resources drying up over the years?
- Do you have a strategic plan? If not, why? If so, is it being followed and does it need to be updated?
- Does the organization have a board? If no, why not? If yes, what are the board members' responsibilities regarding fundraising?
- Does the organization manage volunteers? Are they viewed as an extension to the organization's staff? Are they provided opportunities to take on more responsibilities with the organization?
- Are staff, board members and volunteers trained and provided the tools to spread the word about the cause and mission of the organization?
- Have several "human interest" success stories been documented and used in marketing efforts?
- What fundraising efforts have occurred in the past? Which worked and which ones were lackluster? Why?
- Is the organization website professional-looking, uncluttered, designed from the perspective of the user, have an easy/online method for making donations and signing up for more info on every page?
- What other nonprofit organizations is your organization collaborating or teaming with in a win-win way?
What do you think about this list of questions? Would you revise some of these or add other questions to the list? Please submit a comment with your thoughts.