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Secure More Funding

An effective way to raise steady funds is to have a “Friends of Literacy” campaign to solicit for contributions from stakeholders, tutors and other individuals within the community.

Corporate funding can be a good source of support for new initiatives, special programs and special events. However, corporate funding is usually episodic, revolving around a special event or campaign (i.e., a 5K run/walk) that will generate publicity, public awareness and community respect for the company. Many corporations either have a corporate foundation or a committee made up of employees/retirees who will determine which cause/agency will receive the financial support.

Local and State Governments
Local/state governments often have funds available for organizations that provide educational, human service or workforce development. However, many new nonprofits may not be eligible or have sufficient resources to meet the requirements of the funding.

Federated Funds (i.e., United Way)
A federated fund is a cooperative enterprise, owned and controlled by the nonprofit members, whose purpose is raising program and operating capital for each member agency. It serves as a contribution vehicle for donors to direct charitable dollars to the groups and issues about which they care. A donor gift to the federation is usually distributed to all the member organizations, or donors can target gifts to specific groups in the federation. Federated funds are favorites of businesses since they provide a safe and convenient way for their employees to contribute to charities. The downside of federated funds is that often new, small nonprofits, or those with unique or offbeat missions, are not included.

There are different types of foundations:

  • Private: Private foundations are generally founded by an individual, a family or a group of individuals and are organized either as a nonprofit corporation or as a charitable trust. It is managed by its own trustees or directors. It is established to aid social, educational, religious or other charitable activities, primarily through grant making.
  •  Corporate: The company-sponsored foundation is a private foundation that often maintains close ties with the donor company. However, it is a separate legal organization, sometimes with its own endowment, and is subject to the same rules and regulations as other private foundations.  According to the Council on Foundations, there are more than 2,000 corporate foundations in the United States holding some $11 billion in assets.
  • Community: A community foundation is composed primarily of permanent funds established by many separate donors for the long-term benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area. Typically, a community foundation serves an area no larger than a state. Community foundations provide services to donors who wish to establish endowed funds without incurring the administrative and legal costs of starting independent foundations. According to the Councils on Foundations, there are more than 500 community foundations across the United States today.
  • Family: A family foundation's funds are derived from members of a single family. At least one family member must continue to serve as an officer or board member of the foundation and as the donor. The family member plays a significant role in governing and/or managing the foundation throughout its life. Most family foundations are run by family members who serve as trustees or directors on a voluntary basis, receiving no compensation.

A listing of “Helpful Website Resources on Forming a Nonprofit”
Council on Foundations:
Wisconsin Phlianthropy Network:
The Grantsmanship Center: