Nonprofit corporations depend on donations, grants, and professional fundraising to fund their programs. Aside from government-provided funding, most nonprofits are funded by charitable donations, which are voluntary contributions made by members of the public. These are given with few or no conditions for how they are to be used.
In professional fundraising, professional solicitors contact members of the public to ask for financial support. Donors give money as a means of supporting a specific cause they believe in. Professional fundraisers may conduct direct mail campaigns, telephone solicitation, email/web appeals, and even door-to-door contacting. Fundraisers use professional techniques to identify potential donors, to get them emotionally committed to the cause, and then ask for a donation.
Professional fundraisers work with nonprofits to find donors who can provide funding above what is available from public sources. They may also seek top donors on behalf of an organization’s development staff. Since professional fundraisers are consulting with clients about more complex fundraising strategies, they are better equipped to navigate the increasingly complex world of professional fundraising.