Political engagement, lobbying (for c3 or c4 nonprofit organizations), paid outreach to targeted members of the public, organizing volunteers, and generally “getting the word out” about your organization will likely cost money. In most cases, these needs will require raising money from diverse sources.
D. Raising Money
- Go Fund Me (can be set up for free)
- Blackbaud/eTapestry (generally requires a contract and is somewhat expensive)
- Include logo/brand design in header
- Craft a pithy, relatively short title that goes to the heart of the release; position the title in slightly larger font centered at the top
- Aim for one page in length, if possible
- Include contact information for your organization either at the top above the title or beneath the body of the press release
- Send press releases to journalists who cover environmental issues or a specific beat that includes your issue; if this can’t be found, most publications have a general news desk contact
- If possible, follow up with recipients with a phone call or email to confirm that the advisory or release was received
Be sure to provide resources for more research and more information about your group (such as a website with a mission statement, the name of a Facebook group that can be accessed by a reporter, etc.) somewhere on your press release or media advisory.
- With money comes accountability and reporting: be sure to learn about the rules of your particular jurisdiction surrounding reporting fundraising. The IRS has its own set of rules that should be given heed; don’t risk missing deadlines just because you didn’t do the research.
- Be aware of donations that seem suspicious or might even be illegal. This largely depends on what kind of organization you form.
- Many philanthropic donors care about issues but also very much want to receive the tax deductions associated with giving to a 501(c)(3) charity. You will need to keep good records of these transactions and may need to provide donors with receipts.