There’s More Than One Way to Fund a Nonprofit

There’s More Than One Way to Fund a Nonprofit

To accurately answer the question, how are nonprofits funded, you have to first understand that fundraising is not just asking for donations. This is one aspect of nonprofit development, but the overall fundraising landscape is quite varied. Nonprofits can fund their work with sponsorships, grants, individual giving, events, fee-for-service, and more.

This is good news because having multiple streams of revenue protects nonprofits in cases where one fundraising source falls through. To diversify your nonprofit’s revenue sources, it helps to know what opportunities are available. Here is an introductory overview of some of the main sources of revenue for modern nonprofits.


Sponsorships allow nonprofits to partner with other reputable organizations to receive funds and in-kind donations. Companies and organizations may sponsor a nonprofit as a general partnership or in conjunction with a campaign or event. The sponsor, though, will expect some sort of recognition or promotion of their brand too. Usually, this comes in the form of public thanks and displaying the sponsor’s logo. This is especially apparent at events like charity run/walks.

A nonprofit’s board can be a great resource for identifying potential sponsors. Ask board members to introduce your organization to their business colleagues and other contacts. You can also approach local businesses with a connection to your cause. For example, grocery stores and restaurants might be interested in sponsoring a nonprofit fighting hunger.


Grants are disbursements from governments or foundations to help nonprofit organization reach their goals. Often, grants will be restricted to a certain sector, location, or type of programming. For this reason, nonprofits must search for grants appropriate for their organization and apply for consideration. Grant applications are notoriously long and complex, so it’s important to plan ahead and choose your applications wisely. Continue reading “There’s More Than One Way to Fund a Nonprofit”