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Silver Dragon Enterprises Ltd.
dba Sterling Campaigns
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Let's Get Technical! - Fund-raising Basics 1


Organization

Incorporation


Board of Directors


Charitable Status

Annual Report

An Accurate Budget

Skills and Talents


Documentation

Reproduced with permission by the
Community Pride Program

Topic: Organization

Every organization has its own unique characteristics and operates in a unique environment. Therefore, how it approaches its fund-raising problems will also be unique. Nevertheless, there are basics to fund-raising that are common to all organizations. When planning your fund-raising activities, keep in mind that you are competing with a growing number of organizations and groups. You must speak of your benefits directly to your target audience, and you need to plan a balanced campaign aimed at a diversity of funding sources. When allocating your fund-raising development dollars, bear in mind that 70 cents of every dollar donated to Canadian charities come from private individuals. In any fund-raising effort, failing to plan is planning to fail.
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Incorporation

Incorporation as a non-profit society is highly recommended.
An incorporated not-for-profit group is viewed as a more stable, permanent and accountable organization. Incorporation is done through the Registrar of Companies in Victoria. Your group can adopt a standard set of articles for a non-profit society and the whole process needn't require the services of a lawyer. If there are a few things about your organization which do not quite fit a standard pattern, it would be wise to consult a lawyer (perhaps one of your members) to make sure your constitution suits your purposes.
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Board of Directors

Besides providing overall direction for the group, a board of directors is also key to effective fund-raising. the articles of incorporation will lay out the legal requirements of your board but it is up to you to make it an effective mix of talent, expertise and credibility. The board should comprise individuals respected in the area of heritage, representatives of your "average" member, plus a lawyer, an accountant and business people. There are two types of board members - the active and the attractive. Active directors are driven by the three Gs: Give (time and energy); Get (things done and others involved); and Get Off (on the goals of organization). Attractive directors are individuals who lend credibility to your organization with their name and reputation, and who will share their knowledge and experience at board meetings. When it comes to fund-raising, attractive board members can be used for their own unique set of three - the three F's: From (direct donations); Friends (introduction to and/or solicitation of); and Foundation (also involved with, or in contact with, funding organizations).
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Charitable Status

Tax exemption registration allows you to issue tax-deductible receipts for donations. (Note that membership fees are not eligible for tax exemption.) Tax exemption status is conferred by Revenue Canada. Incorporation as a non-profit society with provincial Registrar of Companies does not automatically make your group a charity as defined by Revenue Canada. It is important that a not-for-profit group have the ability to write receipts for tax purposes. While the ability to issue a tax receipt will not automatically generate more donations, the lack of it will seriously limit potential donations and fund-raising ability.
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Annual Report

An annual report demonstrates a business-like approach. It should include financial statements and an overall budget. Three important funding sources (corporations, foundations and government) are all very familiar and comfortable with this presentation format. It need not be lengthy as lo ng as the basic elements are included. It should contain:

  1. A history of the group (when it was formed, purposes, where it has come from) and where it is going.
  2. Its activities and achievements in the past year and the impact it has had in your area of activity. Remember you want to impress the readers with a positive view.
  3. A list of sponsors, including in-kind donors. A long list with a diversity of sources is very impressive.
  4. The names of the Board of Directors, including board position, their business status and other boards or activities that they are involved in.
  5. The names of staff, including executive directors and fund-raisers, with phone numbers.
  6. A chart showing its organization, tax number address and phone number.
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An Accurate Budget

Accurate budgeting is essential to setting realistic and achievable fund-raising goals.
Develop your most basic budget with fixed costs and minimum expenditures possible. Focus your efforts on securing all your base funding first. This core funding is the most important and often most difficult area for which to secure funding. Once you have established a firm base, then, and only then, can you begin to enlarge your field of activity.
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Skills and Talents of Members

The skills and talents of your members, volunteers, board members, directors. friends and donors are the engine which drives your organization. Have you done a good inventory of the skills and talents they possess? Do they have contacts in the areas where you need help? Use board members, friends, volunteers, to help "hook" a professional or sought-after individual. When approaching an individual for help know a bit about their occupation and business field.
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Documentation

The final item in a fund-raising strategy is the careful and complete documentation of all activities, events, meetings, and projects. This record will prove invaluable in the future, not only to aid in repeating success but, just as importantly, to learn from failures.
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To receive the balance of the documents in this series just send an e-mail to Silver Dragon Enterprises Ltd. info@silverdragon.com
Please allow 1 week for replies.
Let's Get Technical!
Fund-raising Basics 2
Topic: Funding Sources
Let's Get Technical!
Fund-raising Basics 3
Topic: Types of Funding
Let's Get Technical!
Fund-raising Basics 4
Topic: Approaching Funding
Let's Get Technical!
Fund-raising Basics 5
Topic: Individual Donations


This material has been reproduced courtesy of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. This, the first in a series of documents, was prepared for the B.C. Community Pride Program by Silver Dragon Enterprises Ltd.
The B.C. Community Pride Program was a program funded by the British Columbia Heritage Trust, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, Government of British Columbia, Canada. All copyright is retained by the Ministry.

BC Community Pride Program
#103-1216 Broad Street
Victoria, BC V8W 2A5
Tel: (250) 387-5133
Fax: (250) 387-5593

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