Key Questions to Consider Before Contacting Potential Funders

Adapted from Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement, by Betty Stallings.

  1. What problem or need is does your organization work to resolve or address?
  1. Who or what is affected by this challenge?
  1. How can volunteer involvement help to address the problem? What skills or talents would build your capacity to address these challenges?
  1. How are you already engaging volunteers to address some of these needs?
  1. How are volunteers already making an impact on this issue? What are the specific benefits of engaging volunteers in increased or different ways? Impacts and benefits could include increased public awareness, more people served, better services being delivered, dollars raised through fundraising, new skills within the organization, stronger staff, and more.
  1. How is your organization unique in addressing the problem? How is your organization unique in the ways it engages the community as partners in addressing these challenges?
  1. What is the desired outcome of this increased effort? What difference will new or more volunteers be able to make? (For example, how many people will be reached? Programs delivered? How will the clients benefit? How much funds will be raised?)
  1. What will it cost to reach the desired outcome? Consider budget for both cash expenses and donated resources, whether people, funds, or in-kind services.
  1. Which donor(s) or funder(s) will you ask for support and why? Are they funders that already have interest in volunteer engagement or capacity building initiatives? How will each prospective donor or funder benefit from giving you support?