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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Strategies for nonprofits to ensure financial stability

financial stability

Financial sustainability is crucial to longevity and keeping the mission alive. So, what are some ways to achieve sustainability?

Look for individual donors

Seek out those individuals that have a passion for your organizations type of work and ask for a donation. Recurring gifts, even if small, are one of the best helps for sustainability. 

Go for grants

Hire a grant writer for your organization who can look for applicable grant opportunities and go after those potential grants. It often takes a long time to hear whether a grant appeal has been accepted. Acceptance of a grant may also entail complex data tracking and reporting requirements, so be prepared.

Have a fundraiser

Fundraisers can be a way to bring new potential donors into your organizations. These can be done quarterly, once a year, however you would like to do them. These events can occur in person, or online through the organization's website and social media sites. COVID changed the dynamics of how organizations can reach out to ask for funding; the rise of online giving has allowed a way for new potential donors to reach organizations without having to leave their homes. Just keep in mind to not overdo these events; keep them limited throughout the year.

A crucial point to remember about fundraisers, is not to overspend. Remember this is about bringing money into the organization. So, look at your budget and determine what you can afford without hurting the organization. Keep costs to a bare minimum so that if the event does not have the turn out or donations you hoped for, you do not hurt your organization in the long run.

Search for high-level donors

Look for those potential donors that have deep pockets and are looking to donate. In today’s times we have the Netflix donors who give small amounts monthly, and those individuals are definitely needed and valued, but don’t be afraid to look for those who are able to give large donations yearly, or a huge amount once. These donors keep the organization alive and thriving.

Planned giving

The baby boomer generation currently holds the majority of the wealth in the US, and is leaving their money to organizations rather than family. Why? Baby boomers feel that their money should go to a worthy cause.

Make the Ask

Regardless of how you could obtain the donations if you aren’t able to make the ask you will not receive the funds. Prepare for the ask, educate yourself on how to make an ask and feel confident and not like you’re a used car salesman. You are making an ask for something that you truly believe in, and that will truly help the people you serve. The ask becomes easy when it is from the heart.

Hire the best for your organization

Get your team in on new-hire interviews and allow those in the organization to help pick the best fit. This brings a sense of belonging and confidence that those in the upper seats have faith that everyone knows who the best fit for the position will be. If someone in the organization is not a good fit then look for his or her strengths and reassess his or her role and position. Sometimes, you may need to remove an individual from the bus in order to make room for the right person.

There are many ways to achieve funding for your organization and we just skimmed a few potential ways.  It is not an easy task to sustain a nonprofit. Allow your creativity to spark new potential ways to reach your target audience and thus help your organization to become financially sustainable.


Phillip Trammel is a Spring 2023 graduate in the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program at Arizona State University. He is married with 6 children. Personal interest includes spending time with my family and playing music. Professional interest includes working with nonprofits to help promote music education to at risk youth.

Image by Lillian Finley


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Phillip Trammel


ASU Lodestar Center Blog