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Dec 5, 2023

Get to Alignment Faster

Modern Nonprofit Fundraising Series

This is the third in our blog series on the three pillars of modern nonprofit fundraising. Read our introduction and part two about building relationships.

It’s the end of the year scramble for fundraisers everywhere and who has time for Google and gambling?

Actually no one has time for that, and it’s the key reason to ensure your fundraising goals are completely aligned with your fundraising targets. One of the three pillars of modern nonprofit fundraising, alignment is a great way to cut through the noise (and dice rolling) to target the donation sources most likely to yield a positive response.

Done correctly, alignment lets a nonprofit “check the fit” of the potential donor before reaching out.

Done correctly, alignment lets a nonprofit “check the fit” of the potential donor before reaching out. Alignment saves time, energy, and resources and is particularly critical for the season we’re now in: foundations with money left over and the end of the year approaching. (Although alignment is important for fundraisers all year round, it’s extra helpful now when time is tight and foundations are under pressure to spend their mandated 5%.)

To determine alignment, it can help to start with three questions:

  • Does the foundation give to my mission or cause area?
  • Does the donor operate in my region?
  • Are our values aligned?

Simple questions, but actually finding answers to them can be tricky. It’s possible to pour over a foundation’s IRS 990 filings, but that means sorting through potentially millions of pages of paperwork – not practical and certainly not efficient. Fundraisers with lots of time and access to a public library can turn to a number of public databases, but they’re often not user-friendly and most hide the best data behind paywalls.

It’s also possible to achieve alignment by starting from the other direction: Identify nonprofits that match yours in goals, scope, and geography, and then determine which foundations are funding them. This approach can feel as if it’s simpler, but it still involves digging, research, and the very high risk that you’re finding out of date or incomplete information on a nonprofit webpage.

Skip the library, IRS, paywalls, and Google gambling forever, and let Impala do the work of aligning your nonprofit to the best possible funders.

Enter Impala’s Essentials product, which distills data from almost 3 million nonprofits and foundations into a simple searchable tool that’s free of charge (and always will be). Skip the library, IRS, paywalls, and Google gambling forever, and let Impala do the work of aligning your nonprofit to the best possible funders. Start here (for free), join a free small group training session here, or ask us for help at support@impala.digital. Since we’re all former fundraisers and funders, we’ve BTDT. 

Don’t forget to check out Paths, Impala’s newest fundraising product. Paths is designed to turn data into fundraising intelligence that can help nonprofits activate relationships and increase development productivity by supporting the three pillars of fundraising success.

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