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Progression Tracker
Do You Need a Funding Plan?
Introduction to the Six Steps
Step 1: Establish Priorities
Step 2: Assess Capacity
Step 3: Set Fundraising Goals
Step 4: Identify Funding Sources
  • Common Funding Sources
Step 5: Evaluate & Select Funding Sources
Step 6: Write & Implement Plan
Final Quiz
Sample Finance Plans
List of Case Studies
References & Additional Resources

Step 4. Funding Sources

Picture of man walking up steps. Now that you have established your organization's priorities, assessed your fundraising capacity, and set your fundraising goal, the fourth step is to identify funding sources.

Funding strategies vary based on the size of the organization. A wide range of organizations work to enhance and restore our nation's watersheds. They vary from all-volunteer groups working to restore small creeks in their communities to multi-state organizations working to protect large watersheds. Some are just starting to fundraise, while others already have large budgets. It is important to find fundraising options that fit the needs of you and your organization (more about evaluating funding options in Step 5).

In order to try to meet the needs of a variety of watershed organizations, we have listed a diverse set of funding strategies on the next page. We recommend that new organizations take a close look at the core elements (those indicated with a *) and then proceed on to any other options that may interest them. New organizations exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:

Picture of a stack of books.
  • Is managed by a group of volunteers or a very small professional staff
  • Was recently formed or is in a period of new growth
  • Is run on a limited budget
  • Is beginning to implement a strategic division of labor
  • Is better at delivering programs and implementing projects than at conducting organizational and administrative tasks
  • Has unpredictable sources of funding year to year

"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes ... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

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